Colts Rumors: Rams' Raheem Morris to Have 2nd HC Interview amid Jeff Saturday Buzz

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 25, 2023

Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris smiles before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
AP Photo/Kyusung Gong

The Indianapolis Colts will interview Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris a second time for their open head coaching position by the end of the week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Zak Keefer of The Athletic provided more information on Morris and where the Colts currently stand in the interview process.

Zak Keefer @zkeefer

Morris had a very good first interview <br><br>Reported 2nd interviews for Colts: <br><br>Jeff Saturday<br>Raheem Morris<br>Ejiro Evero<br>Dan Quinn <br><br>Expect more early next week after the conference title games <a href="https://t.co/qIrkPzkglY">https://t.co/qIrkPzkglY</a>

Morris has been the Rams' defensive coordinator for the past two seasons. L.A. won the Super Bowl in Morris' first season.

The list of four names Keefer provided includes interim head coach Jeff Saturday. The former star Colts center and ESPN football analyst surprisingly took over as head coach after the team fired Frank Reich following a 3-5-1 start. Indianapolis finished 1-7 under Saturday en route to a 4-12-1 campaign.

Saturday had no prior college or NFL coaching experience before taking over, although he did lead the Hebron Christian Academy (GA) program from 2017-2020. On the field, he was a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro.

Morris has been coaching in the NFL since 2002 save for one season (2006) as Kansas State's defensive coordinator. His first year ended with a Super Bowl victory as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive quality control coach.

The Bucs later promoted him from defensive backs coach to head coach in 2009 when he was 32 years old, making him the fourth-youngest head coach in NFL history at the time.

Tampa Bay enjoyed a 10-6 season in 2010 under Morris, but that campaign was buffered by 3-13 and 4-12 marks. The Bucs parted ways with Morris after the 2011 season.

He stayed in the NFL, however, first as Washington's defensive backs coach from 2012-2014. Morris then moved onto the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-2020 and worked in various positions, capping his career there as the team's defensive coordinator and interim head coach following the firing of Dan Quinn after an 0-5 start. Atlanta went 4-7 under Morris.

Morris then left for the Rams, who needed a defensive coordinator when Brandon Staley became the L.A. Chargers' head coach. The Rams' defense finished fifth in Football Outsiders' DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) in 2021.

L.A. fell to 18th in that mark in 2022, although the team scuffled to a 5-12 record after suffering a host of injuries on both sides of the ball. That included a high-ankle sprain suffered by nine-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who missed the team's final six games.

Morris is deserving of a second head coaching gig. His Buccaneers tenure should be taken with a grain of salt given his relative inexperience and youth at the time. Since then, he's added 11 more seasons of coaching experience and got 11 games in as a head coach.

Whether his next opportunity will come with the Colts remains to be seen, as he has some stiff competition, including fellow second interviewees in Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and Quinn, who is now the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator.