Quinn’s Falcons Coaching Staff Starting to Take Shape

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Raheem Morris

Earlier this week, FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez reported that Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong and defensive line coach Bryan Cox would be retained by impending Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. Quinn is expected to be announced as the Falcons next head coach on Monday, February 2 after his current team, the Seattle Seahawks, play in Super Bowl XLIX.

In other coaching news, the Falcons are also expected to hire former Washington Redskins assistant Raheem Morris for an unspecified capacity. According to the Washington Post, it will be a hybrid assistant-defensive coordinator role. Morris played at Hofstra University while Quinn was an assistant coach there in the late 1990s.

Armstrong and Quinn served together as assistants with the Miami Dolphins from 2005-06. Armstrong joined the Falcons coaching staff in 2008 and has served in the capacity of special teams coordinator ever since. He received an interview from the team for the vacant head-coaching position earlier this month.

Cox also worked previously with Quinn, having spent two seasons as the assistant defensive line coach alongside Quinn with the New York Jets (2007-08). Cox’s first season in Atlanta was in 2014 after tutoring the pass rush of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-13) and Dolphins (2011).

Morris played safety at Hofstra from 1994-97, then joined Quinn as an assistant on the team’s staff in 2000. Morris served as defensive backs coach while Quinn continued in his capacity of coaching the defensive line.

Quinn moved to the pros in 2001 when he became an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers and Morris soon followed in 2002 as a defensive quality control coach with the Buccaneers. In 2004, Morris was promoted to assistant defensive backs coach, a role he served for two seasons before getting his first shot as a defensive coordinator with Kansas State in 2006. He came back to the NFL in 2007 with the Buccaneers, serving as the defensive backs coach for two seasons before he was promoted to head coach in 2009 after the dismissal of Jon Gruden. In his second season, Morris’ Buccaneers went 10-6 and nearly made the playoffs. But in his other two seasons, the team sported losing records, combining for just a 7-25 record. After being fired, Morris joined the Washington Redskins coaching staff in 2012 as defensive backs coach.

The Washington Post reports that Quinn will be expected to retain defensive play-calling duties in Atlanta, but Morris will be a senior assistant that goes beyond coaching defensive backs.

Also, Falcons linebacker coach Glenn Pires will be departing for the same role with the Chicago Bears. Pires spent the past seven seasons as the Falcons linebacker coach. Prior to joining the Falcons in 2008, Pires spent five seasons as an assistant with the Miami Dolphins, including two seasons where he coached alongside Quinn (2005-06).

Also, new New York Jets coach Todd Bowles stole another assistant from the Falcons, hiring Mark Collins to become the team’s linebackers coach. Collins was promoted to outside linebackers coach this past season after spending five seasons as a defensive assistant. Collins joins former Falcons assistant Joe Danna, who will work with the Jets defensive backs under Bowles.

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Aaron Freeman
Founder of FalcFans.com