By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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Although the Atlanta Falcons don’t officially have their coach, the rest of the staff appears to be coming together.
NFL Media’s Albert Breer reported Monday, per two sources apprised of the Falcons‘ decision-making, that Redskins secondary coach Raheem Morris has verbally accepted the position of assistant head coach with the Falcons. Morris will run the pass defense in Atlanta.
Broncos linebackers coach Richard Smith will likely get the defensive coordinator title, and primarily be charged with setting up the run defense, Breer added.
Morris spent the last three seasons in his aforementioned position with the Redskins. Prior to his time in Washington, Morris served as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, compiling a 17-31 record that included a surprise 10-6 finish in 2010.
Smith has been Denver’s linebackers coach since 2011. His last defensive coordinator stint came in Houston, where he led a team that finished ninth, ninth and 11th in total defense from 2006-2008.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Jan. 18 that the Falcons plan to hire Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as the team’s next head coach, but cannot do so until the Seahawks‘ season comes to an end. Atlanta also plans on hiring former Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in the same capacity with the Falcons, Rapoport reported.
It’s a peculiar, if not unorthodox approach to assembling a staff, but when the guy a team wants isn’t free to go yet because his team is still playing for the Lombardi Trophy, the suitors must wait. It appears as though Atlanta is content with waiting and filling in the smaller gaps in the meantime.