He recently spoke with Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated on why Blank hired former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris to be the club's next head coach instead of living legend Bill Belichick.
“It's not that he was a bad fit,” Blank said of his January conversations with Belichick. “We always wanted him. All issues and questions regarding Bill regarding the power structure were completely baseless, untrue and based on nothing. In all my conversations with him, he was just collaborative, inclusive, willing to work with the staff and scout them. He referred to our organization and felt very comfortable working with it. It really had nothing to do with it.”
Many people suggested during Super Bowl week that Belichick rejected Blank and not the other way around, in part because the six-time Super Bowl champion's head coach allegedly wanted more power with the Falcons than Blank was willing to give up. Blank rejected such claims before speaking with Breer.
It was reported over the weekend that after Blank hired Morris, “multiple owners reached out to Belichick about next year's recruiting cycle.” Although Belichick will turn 72 in April, he is just 15 wins shy of setting a new NFL record record for career victories achieved by the head coach (regular season and playoffs combined).
“I think Bill will coach again,” Blank told Breer. “I don't know. But there is energy and passion there. “We just felt like he was the best choice for us for a variety of reasons when we compared Raheem to the rest of the team.”
In particular, Blank mentioned how Morris served as assistant, defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Falcons during the 2015-2020 season.
“The experience we had with him in Atlanta was great,” Blank said of Morris. “It was six years, obviously a lot of successes in that time, it didn't end that way, but a lot of successes in that time. I spent a lot of time in attack, defense, great leader. The coaches loved him, the players loved him.”
Blank added that Morris “acquired skills” over the past three seasons with the Rams “that were not fully developed when he left us in Atlanta.” Everyone involved will now hope that these skills will help Blank not regret the hire he took in January.