The era of Doug Marrone ends with a bang, and mostly because it's tied to the beginning of something the NFL hasn't seen before -- namely Urban Meyer coaching on a pro football sideline. The legendary collegiate coach will try his hand in the league for the first time in 2021, having signed on as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he's not wasting any time building his staff, as evidenced in the hiring of Charlie Strong as assistant head coach. Having already set his eye on Scott Linehan and Joe Cullen for offensive and defensive coordinator positions, respectively, Meyer is reportedly adding former Atlanta Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris as a possibility for the latter -- per Josina Anderson of ESPN.
Morris is set to meet with Meyer and the Jaguars on Tuesday, as all sides try to determine if it's a fit. If Morris lands in North Florida in 2021, or anywhere that isn't North Georgia, it'll be a change of scenery he hasn't had in a long time. The 44-year-old joined the Falcons in 2015 as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach, and he's been there since, ultimately ascending to the role of defensive coordinator in 2020 under Dan Quinn -- who is now the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys -- and subsequently interim head coach when Quinn was fired midseason.
Morris was interviewed for the permanent head coach position in Atlanta, but lost out to former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. And, with that, it's not surprising to see Morris exploring other opportunities, nor is it for Meyer to have interest in a coach who made the Falcons competitive to end an otherwise wildly disappointing 2020 season.
Cullen, the direct competition for Morris in the Jaguars' interview process, just saw his season end at the hands of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional Round, and is now available to ramp up discussions with Meyer. He's been in the league a total of 14 years, the last four having been in Baltimore, and was once a defensive line coach for the Jaguars at the turn of the previous decade. It'll be interesting to see if Morris can bump Cullen to the side, or vice versa, or if Meyer can get them both on the defensive staff -- something that likely won't be easy to do.
It's unclear when the Jaguars will begin formally hammering down Meyer's new totem and what it will look like once it's done, but it's already clear he's trying to surround himself with coaches who have a lot of the NFL experience he lacks.