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Atlanta Falcons' Concern that Led To Passing on Bill Belichick is Revealed

Photo: Scott Cunningham

Six-time Super Bowl champion Bill Belichick was reportedly seen as a "short-term play," which raised concern for some within the Atlanta Falcons' organization, specifically those who feared his extensive overhauling would once again need to be repeated after his eventual departure in the near future, ESPN's Dan Graziano reported on Thursday (January 25).

Belichick, 71, was reported to have interviewed twice for the Falcons' head coaching job, which eventually went to Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris on Thursday. Owner Arthur Blank is reported to have potentially favored Belichick prior to interviews, but was willing to listen to the input of others within the organization, which led to the decision to hire Morris, who also entered interviews with high opinions, according to Graziano.

Morris, 47, had previously served as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-11, as well as the Falcons' interim head coach in 2020 following the firing of Dan Quinn. The former Hostra safety initially joined the Falcons as an assistant head coach and passing game coordinator in 2015 before serving as wide receivers coach from 2016-18.

Morris spent the past three seasons as the Rams' defensive coordinator, which included winning Super Bowl LVI during his first season with the franchise. The 47-year-old was also on the Buccaneers' staff during their XXXVII season as a defensive quality control coach.

Belichick, who was let go by the New England Patriots after 24 seasons this offseason, only interviewed for the Falcons' head coaching vacancy and could wait another year before entertaining another position, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.