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Dan Quinn and Raheem Morris hot candidates in 2022 head coach hiring cycle

The former Falcons’ coaches are lining up head coaching interviews.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2020 was a lost season for the Atlanta Falcons. Such lost season culminated in the firing of Dan Quinn during the regular season with Raheem Morris stepping in as head coach to finish out the season. Of course, Morris, a Falcons coach since 2015, was not retained after Arthur Smith was eventually hired.

Both have found quick and pronounced success in their respective first seasons away from the Falcons.

Quinn quickly retooled his defensive scheme. His success is interestingly in two weak spots with the Falcons: calling players and developing young players. Micah Parsons, considered an athletic “tweener” type, not dissimilar from Takkarist McKinley and Vic Beasley, had a rookie year for the history books. He turned around the struggling Dallas defense and brought the Cowboys to a short playoff stint.

Morris has a more interesting path than Quinn. A defensive backs coach by trade, Morris was one of the youngest NFL head coaches as the top coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He joined Atlanta in 2015 with Quinn and spent time coaching both sides of the football. It seemed like Quinn was prepping Morris for an eventual head coaching spot at some point.

Now the two are competing for the same head coaching jobs. More importantly, Quinn may be one of the hottest names right now in the head coaching search.

Quinn, to his credit, was always loved by his players. That love did not always produce a great performance on the field, but Quinn’s interviews are certain to focus heavily on lessons learned in Atlanta.

Morris so far has fewer requests and may have less time for interviews with the Rams still in the playoffs.

Morris may be the more interesting candidate. Quinn had six years and struggled to develop young defensive players, assemble a good defense, or show a knack for calling plays when taking on that responsibility. The Falcons have him opportunities, big name free agents, and bold draft picks to make it work.

Morris, on the other hand, had three seasons with the struggling Buccaneers without that level of support. He has a diverse set of experience, coaching wide receivers, defensive backs, and defenses. Players are just as emphatic about their love for Morris, but Morris has had far less opportunity to coach an entire team.

With that said, expect more interview requests to pour in for Morris. Quinn’s popularity suggests he’s likely to land another head coaching position sooner rather than later.