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Falcons name Morris interim head coach

The Atlanta Falcons named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris their interim head coach on Monday, a day after firing Dan Quinn.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach takes over the 0-5 Falcons.

“Raheem is a strong leader and a talented coach that has adapted to a variety of roles since joining the Falcons in 2015,” Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay said in a statement. “He has experience as a head coach and has worked on both sides of the ball. We felt that combined with his connection to the players and coaching staff, which will be an important factor as we move forward in 2020, he was the right person to give this responsibility to.”

Morris, 44, moved from coaching wide receivers to defensive backs last year, helping the Falcons recover from a 1-7 start. Morris was head coach in Tampa Bay for three seasons (2009-11), ending with a 17-31 record.

The Falcons fired Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Sunday night, hours after the team lost at home 23-16 to Carolina for its first 0-5 start since 1997. McKay takes over day-to-day football operations.

Last month, the Falcons blew fourth-quarter leads of 15 and 16 points in consecutive losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears. Those collapses rekindled Falcons fans’ painful memories of the infamous breakdown in Super Bowl LI, where Atlanta squandered a 28-3 lead in a 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots.

Quinn, 50, was 43-42 overall since taking over the Falcons for the 2015 season, but just 14-23 since the start of the 2018 campaign.

Quinn is the second NFL head coach to lose his job this season. The Houston Texans parted ways with Bill O’Brien earlier this month.

Dimitroff was named GM of the Falcons in January 2008 after five seasons as New England’s director of college scouting. Since his arrival, Atlanta is 109-88 in the regular season, has made the playoffs six times, has three NFC South titles and made the Super Bowl once.

Among the players drafted on Dimitroff’s watch are cornerstone players in quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones, offensive lineman Jake Matthews and linebacker Deion Jones.

Morris will make his debut Sunday when the Falcons travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings (1-4).

--Field Level Media

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