Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

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Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby Pudge » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:45 am

Falcons officially announced the move that was reported on Sunday:

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/blog ... 0d479b24cd

FALCONS HIRE HENDERSON, NAME MORRIS AS WR COACH



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FALCONS HIRE HENDERSON, NAME MORRIS AS WR COACH
Posted 34 minutes ago
The Falcons announced that they have named Raheem Morris as the team’s new wide receivers coach and Jerome Henderson as the passing game coordinator.


The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have named Raheem Morris as the team’s new wide receivers coach and Jerome Henderson as the passing game coordinator. Morris will also keep his title as the assistant head coach.
“I am excited about these moves and what they will do for our coaching staff,” said Head Coach Dan Quinn. “I have known Raheem for over 19 years and I have no doubt his extensive background in the passing game will prove to be a tremendous asset to our offensive coaching staff. His experience, combined with his personality, makes him the perfect fit to take over this role. Coach Henderson brings an excellent understanding of the passing game in the NFL, and has proven his ability to develop players over his time in this league. He will be a great addition to our staff and I am looking forward to getting to work with both of these men in their new positions.”

Morris is entering his second year with the Falcons and his 14th year as a coach in the NFL. Last season he was named the assistant head coach/defensive passing game coordinator, where he oversaw a young secondary that held five of its opponents to under 200 passing yards. The secondary also only allowed 19 passing touchdowns, which was tied for the third-lowest total in the League last season. Along with forcing 15 interceptions in 2015, which ranked within the top 10 in the League, the secondary had a 1.27 touchdown-to-interception ratio, the seventh-best ratio in the NFL.

Before joining the Falcons, Morris spent three seasons as the defensive backs coach for the Washington Redskins. In 2012, he helped Washington’s defense finish tied for fifth in the NFL with 31 takeaways. The Redskins scored four defensive touchdowns in 2012, including two from the secondary. Morris oversaw a unit that tied a League high with 94 passes defensed and ranked fifth in the NFC with a 3.3 interception rate.

Prior to arriving in Washington, Morris spent three seasons as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-2011. He was the League’s youngest head coach in 2009. In 2010, the Buccaneers recorded the best turnaround in franchise history, finishing with a 10-6 record after going 3-13 in 2009. He spent one year as the defensive coordinator at Kansas State in 2006 prior to joining the Buccaneers.

Morris made his NFL coaching debut with Tampa Bay as a defensive quality control coach in 2002, when the club won Super Bowl XXXVII. The Buccaneers defense allowed an NFL low 12.3 points per game, the third-best scoring defense since 2000. He served as a defensive assistant with the Bucs in 2003 and as assistant defensive backs coach from 2004-05.

Henderson spent the last four seasons as the Dallas Cowboys’ secondary coach and brings nine years of NFL coaching experience to Atlanta. In 2015, he oversaw a secondary that limited opponents to 227 passing yards per game, which ranked fifth in the NFL. Henderson’s unit surrendered 19 passing touchdowns last season, tied for the third-fewest in the NFL, and 29 passes of 25-plus yards, which ranked ninth. Under Henderson’s guidance, rookie safety Byron Jones was graded as the Cowboys top defensive back and one of the club’s top defensive players by Pro Football Focus.

In 2014, Henderson saw his unit improve in passing yards allowed, yards per attempt, interceptions, passing touchdowns, and passes of 25-plus yards. During the 2013 season, he led the defensive backfield as the entire unit made the switch from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 scheme. In his first season in Dallas, Henderson was tasked with integrating two new starting corners in first round draft choice Morris Claiborne and veteran free agent Brandon Carr. Carr led the team in interceptions with three - returning one for a touchdown - while Claiborne picked off one pass and had a fumble returned for a touchdown.

Prior to arriving in Dallas, the former Clemson Tiger spent three seasons as a secondary coach in Cleveland where his defensive backs recorded seven of the club’s nine interceptions in 2011 and finished second in the NFL in passing defense. He was instrumental in the development of cornerback Joe Haden and safety T.J. Ward, both of whom were consensus All-Rookie selections in 2010. Before his stint in Cleveland, Henderson spent three seasons as a member of the New York Jets coaching staff. Leading the defensive backs in 2008, Henderson saw cornerback Darrelle Revis earn a Pro Bowl berth after leading the team with five interceptions. He split duties as an assistant defensive backs coach and director of player development in 2007 after originally joining the club as the director of player development in 2006.

Henderson was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He played eight seasons in the NFL as a defensive back with four different teams, including the Patriots (1991-93, 1996), Buffalo Bills (1993-94), Philadelphia Eagles (1995), and Jets (1997-98). He appeared in 98 games with 34 starts and recorded nine career interceptions. Henderson played in Super Bowl XXVIII with the Bills and Super Bowl XXXI as a member of the Patriots.

Henderson grew up in Statesville, N.C., and went on to play four years at Clemson University (1987-90). He and his wife, Traci, have three children, Jazmin and twins Taylor and Tyler.

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby Pudge » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:50 am

Based off initial twitter reaction, this move (particularly Morris taking over at WR) wasn't met with great applause.

I like the move. Playing WR in the NFL is mostly about route-running and reading coverages (so that you know how to adjust your route-running), so getting a coach with extensive background as a DB coach does make some sense to switch over to the offensive side of the ball. I recall Mike Nolan working as Baltimore's WRs coach the year before he took over their DC job back in the day. Veteran WR Qadry Ismail saw like a 50% increase in production from the previous year. My guess is that he'll get help from offensive asst. Mike McDaniel, who was WRs coach for Redskins and Browns in 2013 & 2014.

As for Henderson, no complaints here. Pretty strong record of helping to develop young DBs in Dallas, Cleveland and New York (Joe Haden & Revis stand out).

What are your guys thoughts?

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby AngryJohnny51 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:38 am

Morris coaching the WR's is a little head scratching to me. He has no experience on any level, yet is now expected to "teach" one of the top 3 WR's in the league and presumably a couple young guys we are going to be bringing in?

This is one of the downsides of bringing in a defensive minded head coach (Quinn). The offense seems to play second fiddle.

Ryan regressed due to Shanahan, we can't afford to have Jones and company regress due to Morris as well.

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby Andreas Illum » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:25 pm

And now they are saying that White will help Morris learn on the job, so White is back for sure. I don't know how I feel about that :(

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby backnblack » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:23 pm

The same RW who was allegedly lost in the new system the first part of the season....

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby Pudge » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:16 am

Roddy ain't coming back. The Falcons just aren't going to tip their hand with the "Legend" himself. The Media wants them to say right now what his status is but in reality if (or rather when) they cut him, it won't happen until mid-to-late February, so the team is basically in the "Need to Know" mindset until then.

As for "teaching" a player that is already a Top 3 WR, what did you really expect Raheem (or any WR coach) to teach Julio that he already doesn't know? He's arguably the best WR in the league, so it's not like there's really any room for improvement. I mean it's not as if Julio is going to suddenly loaf or anything. That's never been in his personality. Julio is one of those rare WRs that never really needed coaching, just time to figure things out on his own. Give him guys to aspire to as we did with Roddy and Tony, and his own competitive drive would push him to be on their level.

And the positive for Raheem is that after Roddy is gone, he won't have to spend 80% of his time & energy trying to reign that guy in as Robiskie was forced to do over the past 8 years.

Everything I've read and heard about Justin Hardy is that he also a self-motivator and thus will also be self-driven to try and close the gap between himself and Julio.

Basically Raheem's job is going to be helping whoever the other 3 or 4 wide receivers on this team are. But people overrate position coaches anywhere. Like there is still this pervasive belief that George Stewart, our old WR coach under Jim Mora, is responsible for why the Falcons never developed a good WR during that time. Which is complete and utter BS. If Stewart was a bad coach, then why did Stefon Diggs, Terrell Owens, Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice all have success while he was coaching them? The reason why the Falcons WRs sucked during his time here had much more to do with the QB's style of play being bad for WR development than poor coaching.

But people have to belief that positional coaches are why certain areas of the roster are good and others are not. Because if they believed it was more to do with talent and latent ability, then they'd have to start believing that coaching is overrated in the NFL. And if that's the case, then it becomes a lot harder to blame all of the team's problems on Kyle Shanahan, Mike Mularkey, Mike Nolan and Mike Smith as they have often done.

The whole string unravels...


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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby backnblack » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:54 pm

So, why waste his talents on a pos that needs virtually no coaching? That unravels pretty quickly too.

BTW, P, I read your piece about the 98 Falcs over at the Roost. Enjoyed it. Pulled up a lot of tidbits about back then and that era I had forgotten about such as M. Rypien being on the team.
and I forgot how ancient DeBerg was. 44!

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby Pudge » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:57 pm

I didn't say the position needs no coaching. As I said, most of Morris' focus will be on coaching the 3-4 guys that aren't currently on this roster that we'll probably be adding over the next year. Hardy needs refinement, but my point was that I don't think he's going to be a guy that is made or broken by coaching.

Roddy was that type of guy because he was talented when he came into the league, but he was not a hard worker. He fit that Mora mold of "athletic arrogance" that he always talked about, which was getting the guys that were great athletes and knew it and his mission was to refine those guys into players. Sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn't.

Hardy isn't that type of dude. He's going to be fine with or without great coaching. Sure, if he had great coaching, he'd be better, but he's not going to get made/broken by not having Robiskie there.

http://www.carolinacatchronicles.com/ne ... stin-hardy

backnblack wrote:BTW, P, I read your piece about the 98 Falcs over at the Roost. Enjoyed it. Pulled up a lot of tidbits about back then and that era I had forgotten about such as M. Rypien being on the team.
and I forgot how ancient DeBerg was. 44!

Thanks, it's interesting how certain moves we made that offseason were pivotal to our success in '98, not to mention of course having Jamal stay healthy, the defense playing as good as it did with all those veterans. I think we had 5 or 6 starters that were 30 or more that year. And not like 30 or 31, like 32, 33 and older. I mean it would be like having Babs, Abe, Asante, Grimes, etc. still on the team with how old some of those guys were back then.

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby backnblack » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:56 am

Yeah, I didn't say you said it needed no coaching. You said it needed virtually no coaching so the argument I was making sort of stands. Maybe you are not needing to help JJ or Hardy but there are the other guys and this will hold true for whoever becomes their pos coach. You may recall Roddy giving Petrino's bro, Paul, a lot of credit for getting him going and word was that Joe Horn was a mentor of sorts. I just think it is odd to move a defensive specialist such Raheem to the other side of the ball to coach a spot that needs virtually no coaching when he could be retained on D where I would argue they seem to need coaching.

It doesn't surprise me though. DQ seems like he is in over his head to me. The team is just a general train wreck (again) from the managerial end. You know I was a Smitty guy and wasn't crazy about the way his exit was handled or that it happened in the first place but had there been some really prize HC out there I would have understood it. Scooping up a rookie whose favorite expressions seemed to be "fired up" and "learning" just seemed like the SOS this franchise has been doing since its inception aside from hiring Reeves.

As to the 98 team, I guess that was the first year I followed a team via the net and all the info that this collective format provides. I never read draft mags and so on though did listen to some sports talk radio. My attitude was to let the team sign who they are going to sign and see what happens when they play since I can do nothing to actually impact any of that other stuff. It's worse than following politics where at least you get the small bone of your single vote thrown to you!

But I do recall at the time pundits talking about the age of the team and the explosive plays. It was prob the first time I really understood first hand how a running game allows such. Jamal carried it 416 times and if there were a stat for yards after first contact I'd like to see it because he got so many by himself. Seems like Chandler was sacked something crazy like 60 times that year? The OL didn't seem like an over powering one but you don't stack up the yards like he did without some push. I think Gene Williams may have had the biggest ass of any man I ever saw play in the NFL.

I also recall Reeves being quoted as saying he signed Tim Dwight to "put butts in the seats." He was one of those guys that no one ever seemed to know quite one to do with like Eric Metcalf. Sproles has made a great career somehow but there are so many of these guys that seem to brim with potential but never quite live up to it. I've always had a thing for the little quick guys. Loved McCluster out of Ole Miss. Anyway, it was a nice piece and sort of underlined Reeves win now approach. He was unable to build much afterward though I wonder what might have happened had he and Phillips been retained and Vick stayed healthy. Working for Blank must have been a real burr in Dan's saddle.

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby Pudge » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:34 am

My problem with Wade Phillips at the time (and I go back and forth in terms of "blame") is that in 2002, they had built a really good 3-4 defense with a bunch of 4-3 guys. Then in 2003, when they had the offseason to go out and get those 3-4 pieces they needed, they stood pat. And I think that led to many of the problems that they had in '03. They won in '02 because of a bend/but don't break style. But without Vick at QB in '03, their defense needed to put the clamps on people and they couldn't.

It was the first lesson that I learned (and I've seen it happen time and time again with other NFL teams) is that if you're a bend but don't break type of D, the pendulum always swings back. That style of defense really is only effective for 1 year, where you can give up a ton of yards but then be stingy in the red zone. But the next year, you're more likely going to give up a ton of yards and a ton of points too.

As for DQ being in over his head, I don't know. I do think that this past year shows that all the people that were like Mike Smith is a terrible coach and this team is a good coach away from being a contender were dead wrong. Unless of course you also believe that DQ is not a good coach, which is unpossible! since Smitty was the worst coach in the history of the world! :lol:

I think DQ's biggest obstacle is going to be that he's going to have fix the team's (many) personnel mistakes of the past few years, by drafting well and hitting on free-agent signings that this team hasn't done very well the past few years. The holes at WR are cuz we ignored the position in the draft from 2009-13. The holes on the OL are cuz we whiffed badly in that 2012 draft and gave all that money to Sam Baker. We punted on the TE position from 2010-14. We never invested in our pass rush with young players outside Beasley in 2015. We whiffed on 4 LBs in the '13 draft, with only 1 of them still on the roster, which is why we lack young talent at that spot. Our secondary would be in better shape if we didn't whiff on the Southward pick.

These are all problems that are going to have to get fixed before there can be any realistic expectation that the results on the field are going to matter. DQ's task is to do his best to keep the team competitive until that happens. Can he do that? We shall see. I mean one concern is going to be whether or not his choice of offensive coordinator will ultimately doom him. And I'm sure in many people's eyes, moving Raheem to WRs coach feeds into those concerns.

But I think a lot of that can be mitigated by adding good talent.

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby backnblack » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:24 pm

It was not until fairly recently that I had really perused the 12, 13 draft and realized how bad they were. You just cannot really weather that many misses in that short a time and, as you say, Baker was a big mistake...maybe from Day One though he cobbled together a few decent seasons. Players play games. Coaching matters but it really revolves around talent on the field and lots of times the talent between two teams just isn't the gaping void people think it is. Our LB sitrep is atrocious.. A Blank is getting too old to be very patient and he was not patient in the first place.

DQ reminds me of Jim Mora, frankly. And I don't see his game decision making to be any clear cut improvement over Smitty's. Has he had any clock gaffes? Not really. But how many did Smitty really have given the span of seven years. Folks like to point to the Lions game, Browns game, Jets game in 14 as reasons Smitty sucked but every one of those was lost due to a weak D and mysterious gaffes. The d was better this year but the gaffes were worse. The discipline seemed worse.

As to Raheem and all that, kind of machts nicht. Deck chairs. Just seems like a guy with his pedigree being a WR coach is kind of an embarrassment of riches that we don't have.

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby Pudge » Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:57 pm

Coaching matters in the NFL. How could it not? But boy is it a lot easier coaching J.J. Watt than it is Kroy Biermann! That's hyperbolic way of saying that coaching becomes a lot easier when you have talent. People complained about how Mike Nolan misused guys in '14 along the defensive front. Babs was a 3-tech DT that was being used too often at 5-tech DE. But guess what? Despite being a square peg in a round hole, Babs still was by far our best DL. Why? Cuz he's good. The cream still rises to the top even when the coffee tastes like shit. :lol:

DQ's gaffes in the 49ers game were just as bad as any IMO that Smitty had. The terrible challenge with 8 minutes to go and then settling for a FG.

I'm not going to be too harsh on DQ yet, but I can't sit here and say he's a great coach when we lost 7 out of 8 games in the middle of the season. I mean only the '03 and '13 teams have done that in recent memory.

I mean if you don't blow that SF game, at the very least your Week 17 game vs. NO is a potential playoff elimination game.

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby backnblack » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:19 am

I really felt like the wins the first few weeks were a little misleading. We could have just as easily lost most of those games although our O was rolling pretty well for a minute. By the same token, were it not for all those ridiculous RZ TOs we could have taken some of the later ones.I think all Falc fans are in wait and see mode with a pretty skeptical outlook. Same QB, same GM, same owner....SOS?

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Re: Falcons Shuffle Coaching Staff, Move Raheem to WRs

Postby Pudge » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:47 am

This offseason is a big one. I know while last offseason didn't reap the huge benefits that people were hoping, I think it showed that they at least knew what they were doing as far as a player evaluation standpoint and an overall plan of not going hogwild in free agency trying to make a big splash and overspending on average players (see nearly every major Falcons FA signing from 2010-14).

We'll see what they do now that they have more money to spend, have some clear and obvious holes (last year was essentially a transitional year to see which of Smitty's players would work for DQ), and a limited number of draft picks. We'll see how they prioritize certain positions, how the further evaluate some players and positions now that we know what they look like under Quinn, and whether the rockstar draft they supposedly pulled off last year was a fluke, or something they can keep going, especially if they have limited picks (or manage to pull off a sweet trade back to get more).

Six months from now, we should have a better idea if DQ has what it takes at least from a personnel standpoint to get the team on the right track. Then we'll have to see what the next six months entail as far as his coaching ability since he should no longer have the excuse that he doesn't quite have a roster full of his guys.


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