MOBILE, Ala. Fired as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach after a disastrous 10-game losing streak, Raheem Morris could have played out the final year of his contract at home.
He never thought about it.
A few days later, he interviewed with the Redskins and less than two weeks later, he was hired as defensive backs coach.
Im a coach, man, Morris said after Tuesdays Senior Bowl practice. There is no sitting out in my game. I love and enjoy the grass. I have plenty of time to sit down at the end of this thing. Im going to get out there and coach.
"There" will now be with the Redskins. Morris is reunited with longtime friend Kyle Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen.
Morris interviewed for Minnesotas defensive coordinator but decided to sign with the Redskins even before several other positions were filled around the league.
A lot of things, he said when asked why the Redskins. The people you know and deal with. Coach Mike Shanahan, you dont deal with a better program. The stuff defensive coordinator Jim Haslett does, its a defense that has been successful for many years.
Morris inherits a secondary that had only 10 interceptions this season. He said he hasnt been back to Redskins Park since his appointment to review the video, but added the Redskins have a really talented bunch of guys, guys that want to come out and play and learn and get better and find their way in this league. Thats exciting for me.
Morris doesnt see going from head coach to a position coach as a demotion.The NFL, whether youre a head coach or a secondary coach or a defensive coordinator, theres only 32 of you, he said. When you get an opportunity to be one of 32, its awesome.
Morris also sees the Redskins has a chance to work with a coach like Shanahan.Every day you get better and you learn from everybody youre around and now I get the opportunity to learn from Coach Shanahan and his staff, Morris said. The things Ill be able to pick up and learn here, it will make me a better coach.
Morris rise in Tampa Bay was meteoric Allen and Jon Gruden were fired, Monte Kiffin was off to the University of Tennessee to coach with his son and Morris was promoted from defensive backs coach. After a rebuilding 3-13 year in 2009, the Buccaneers were a surprising 10-6. This season started with promise (4-2) before the wheels came off.
Just 35 years old, Morris still has many years to again become a head coach.Right now, I just want to do my job, he said. If I get another opportunity, hopefully
I can take advantage of it.
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