Arthur Blank: Raheem Morris will be looked at as any other coach will be

Getty Images

Raheem Morris is making a bid for strong consideration for the Falcons’ full-time head coaching job. On #PFTPM, Mike Florio selected Morris as his coach of the week for the job the interim coach did in Week 9 in winning a third game in four weeks.

When naming Morris interim coach Oct. 12, Falcons owner Arthur Blank joked that he would consider Morris for the job if Morris went 11-0.

“The reality is, in all of our businesses and me personally, I am colorblind,” Blank told Steve Wyche and Jim Trotter on their Huddle & Flow podcast. “I would have made that same comment no matter who the interim coach would have been. I don’t think we should make a head coach selection or a G.M. selection based on the color of somebody’s skin. I clearly think that diversity . . . people know who I am and what I am in that regard.

“Raheem will be looked at as any other coach will be. I’ve known him for a long time. I think he’s a good guy. I think he’s got a lot of credentials. He’s not the same man he was when he was 32 [and] became a head coach [with the Bucs]. Twelve years later, he’s matured a good bit. Thirty-two, it’s hard to be a head coach in the NFL. It’s not impossible, but it’s hard to do. Twelve years later, I think he’s had a lot of great experiences, and I think he’s learned a lot, and I wish him all the success he could possibly have, for his benefit and for our benefit.”

Morris, a minority, went 17-31 in three seasons as the Buccaneers’ head coach from 2009-11.

Blank has served on the NFL’s Workplace Diversity Committee since its inception in 2002, the same year he purchased the team. He has had five full-time head coaches, four of whom he hired, but none were minorities.

Morris is the second minority interim coach for the Falcons, with Emmitt Thomas replacing Bobby Petrino for three games in 2007.

The Falcons not only have to replace coach Dan Quinn but also General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. Only one of the organization’s 19 executives is a minority, according to NFL Media.

“We have to do better,” Blank said.

The league instituted changes to the Rooney Rule earlier this year that call for teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching openings and at least one minority candidate for any coordinator opening. They also are required to interview one external minority candidate for senior football operations and General Manager jobs.

On Tuesday, NFL owners approved a proposal to incentivize the development of minority coaches and executives.

5 responses to “Arthur Blank: Raheem Morris will be looked at as any other coach will be

  1. So a guy on the NFL’s Workplace Diversity Committee sees in colorblind as he quips will not say that he will interview the coach based on his skin color. Why have the rule if its an insult to candidates?

  2. Calling yourself colorblind is anathema to a true understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion.

  3. Last year and the year before, the Falcons pulled out of their tailspins, just as they are doing this year. I think the coaching change shook them up this time, as they saw the writing on the wall about their individual job security. In other words, it’s a typical correction on their part more than the result of some magic coaching powder. If it were me, I would clean house completely from the Quinn/Dimitroff years, though I’d keep Ryan and Julio and 4 or 5 other top starters to attract the best possible GM and Coach. If those two folks happen to be minority hires, terrific.

  4. I agree with Blank 100%. Morris should get the job only if Blank and the GM feel he is right man for the job. He should be under zero pressure to hire him, somehow that seems impossible these days.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.