By now most fans know every major Chicago Bears head coach idea. The big names have been mentioned over and over. Josh McDaniel, Jim Harbaugh, Dave Toub, Matt Patricia and John Gruden are just some of the names on the list. Most of them have an offensive background for obvious reasons. Mitch Trubisky takes priority. Of course everybody also loves to dig up possible sleepers. So here’s one absolutely nobody is talking about.
His name is Raheem Morris.
Don’t remember him. That’s understandable. He somewhat fell off the grid after he was fired as Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach following the 2011 season. Before that he’d spent several years as an assistant with the organization, being part of their Super Bowl winning team in 2002. After Gruden retired in 2009, the organization made the surprising decision to make Morris (who was defensive backs coach) his replacement.
Bears head coach search has to consider Morris for several reasons
Truth be told Morris got served a raw deal with that assignment. He was only 33-years old. The roster was aging in a lot of places and lacking talent. That was evidenced by how they went 3-13 his first year. Yet he wasn’t daunted. In 2010 he led the Bucs on a remarkable turnaround, finishing 10-6. He even got a Pro Bowl-caliber year from quarterback Josh Freeman, who threw 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Unfortunately the NFL lockout the next year hit his young roster hard. They finished 4-12 in 2011 and Morris was dismissed. After that he became secondary coach for Washington and helped them make the playoffs in 2012. Then he was brought over to Atlanta where he was made Assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, showing his range wasn’t limited to the defensive side.
The year he arrived Julio Jones had the best season of his career, going for 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns. The next season the Falcons scored 540 points and went to the Super Bowl. It’s getting to that point where it’s time to wonder if he might be due another chance at the head gig.
Morris has a certain reputation that will entice Bears fans
So why the Bears? Why do they have to be the ones to give him this second chance? Well aside from being 41-years old and showing promise the first time there is a specific reason Morris deserves consideration. He gives Aaron Rodgers problems. In his entire career to date Rodgers has thrown three interceptions in a game only three times. Twice it was against Raheem Morris’ defense.
In fact Rodgers has thrown seven interceptions in four games against a defense Morris was involved with. Considering he’s thrown just one interception in the previous four games against Chicago, it’s clear they need help in that department.
Morris checked plenty of boxes during his time in Tampa. He got the defense to play well against good quarterbacks. He got his own quarterback, who was never that good, to play like a stud for a sustained period. Last but not least he’s been to the mountaintop multiple times and knows what it takes to get there.
This is not saying he should be the primary option. On the other hand this is somebody who deserves a closer look.