Raheem Morris doesn’t feel pressure from taking over NFL’s top defense

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Cameron DaSilva
·2 min read
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After finishing first in the NFL in total defense last season, the Los Angeles Rams were forced to make a big change to their coaching staff. Brandon Staley was hired as the Chargers’ head coach, leaving a void at defensive coordinator for the Rams.

Sean McVay hired Raheem Morris to take over the job, making him the Rams’ third defensive coordinator in as many years. With Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey still on the team, there’s a lot to like about this opportunity for Morris.

But at the same time, he has a tough act to follow with expectations still high. He doesn’t feel any pressure from inheriting the league’s top defense, and instead, he sees it as an opportunity.

“Our whole business kind of deals with pressure. I don’t think it’s pressure, I think it’s more of an opportunity,” Morris said at his introductory press conference Thursday. “Anytime you get a chance to join greatness, to be a part of a bunch of winning, like you guys have been able to do around here in the past – to be able to add onto that, to join a bunch of really good coaches and really good players, you’re really just fired up more than pressured. It’s an opportunity to be a part of greatness and it’s certainly something that I’m going to relish.”

As good as the Rams were in 2020, there are some questions about the defense heading into next season. Leonard Floyd, Troy Hill, John Johnson and Darious Williams will all be free agents – though Williams will fortunately be a restricted free agent, which makes him easier to retain.

There could be major changes coming to the secondary and with the salary cap set to drop, the Rams may have to make further adjustments to the defensive front, too. Morris plans to keep a similar 3-4 scheme, but he still has work to do as the Rams try to follow up what was an outstanding 2020 season.