The Atlanta Falcons have their new coaching staff heading into the 2024 season. The Falcons have hired Raheem Morris as their new head coach and, for fantasy purposes, have hired Zac Robinson as their offensive coordinator. In the last few years, the Falcons have left little to desire for fantasy with mediocre offensive game planning.
In this article, we’ll break down the coaching history of Morris and Robinson. Also, we’ll talk about some players who can benefit from this hiring. It can’t be as bad as the Arthur Smith offense we have seen the last three seasons.
Raheem Morris Coaching
Morris is now the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, as he signed a five-year deal. Morris has been the LA Rams’ defensive coordinator for the last three seasons. He made the most out of this 2023 Rams defense that lost key players during the offseason. His overall defense ranked between 17 and 20 in the three seasons. He had a strong run defense that ranked in the top 12 with the Rams in each season.
Morris has a history of being a head coach in Tampa Bay. From 2009 to 2011, Morris had one winning season where the team finished 10-6. While he wasn’t completely involved in the offensive side of the ball, he did have three straight seasons of a 700-yard tight end. Another part of his short tenure was the inability to get Josh Freeman to do well. The run game was average but not elite.
I can’t get over Raheem Morris’ resume. It’s so wild pic.twitter.com/obxvTp8URM— Nico (@elitetakes_) January 26, 2024
Unlike many defensive coordinators, Morris has experience coaching on the offensive side of the ball. Morris used to coach the Falcons from 2015 to 2020 before the Arthur Smith era. From 2016 to 2019, Morris was the assistant head coach, WR coach, and passing game coordinator.
During those years, he was part of some great Falcons offenses. The 2016 season was the Falcons’ Super Bowl run season when Matt Ryan had his MVP season. Julio Jones would average 1,480 receiving yards over those four seasons. We saw Austin Hooper develop into a potential solid tight end until he went to the Browns. The run game was never an elite backfield but solid overall. Morris will likely focus more on the defensive side of the ball but should have a say in the offense.
Zac Robinson Coaching
Robinson was a former quarterback who never got a chance in the NFL. After a few years of working up to coaching, he got his chance in 2019 to be an assistant quarterback coach with the Rams. He spent all five years with the Rams before getting his shot to be the guy with the Falcons. Robinson would continue to go on and be the assistant quarterback and wide receiver coach until the 2022 season. He was the Ram’s passing game coordinator and quarterback coach in the last two seasons.
We’ll have to see what kind of influence Sean McVay had on Robinson’s offensive scheme. We’ve seen McVay adapt his schemes based on his talent and those he trusts the most. Robinson will likely follow a very similar style of coaching. He was well-liked in the Rams coaching room and was a big part of keeping the Rams from completely falling apart during the 2022 season. This will be big for Robinson, who has never called plays before as a coach. You should expect Robinson to bring in more exciting play-calling rather than the old-school approach we’ve seen the last few seasons.
The biggest benefactor will likely be the receiver position. We’ve seen, especially in the last few seasons, that the Rams loved to throw to their receivers and get them in motion and open space. I’m not sure Drake London is the best for that, but expect them to throw to them more often. The Falcon’s target % to their receivers was under 40%, while the Rams were closer to 70%.
Robinson should use more three-receiver sets than the two tight ends the Falcons ran last season. I do expect the Falcons to bring in another option at receiver. London should be able to continue to see over 110 targets, but hopefully, they can find a better quarterback. If the Falcons draft more of a speedster or possession type of receiver, that would be one I’d target in rookie drafts.
As I mentioned, I expect the Falcons to run fewer two tight end sets, which could hurt and help Kyle Pitts. It will depend on how the new coaching staff wants to use the young star. We saw Morris have three seasons with Kellen Winslow Jr., over 700 receiving yards, and Tyler Higbee has been a weapon for the Rams’ offense. Pitts wasn’t used as a blocker as much last year but has the size to do so.
They could use Pitts as a big slot over the middle of the field. I would expect the team to throw the ball more to their receivers and tight ends over their backfield. This will be a make-or-break season for Pitts to see if he can live up to this draft value.
For the Falcons backfield, it will be interesting to see how they want to use this backfield. Morris and Robinson have been involved in offenses that have used more of a workhorse back in their offense. We saw an easy example of that with Kyren Williams last year. Williams had 51% of the team’s carries in 2023 and missed four games.
In his rookie season, Falcons starter Bijan Robinson only had 41% of the team carries. We could see that increase in 2024 for Robinson as he grows as a workhorse running back. This means we could see less Tyler Allgeier, which would hurt his flex value in 2024. Allgeier had 35 % of the team’s carries and played 36% of the offensive snaps. Robinson may see fewer targets in this new-look offense, as the Rams backfield had under 14% of the teams’ targets. Robinson may end up evening out but with more opportunity if the team uses him as a workhorse. I love Robinson, but if the trade made sense, you could use the coaching change to sell high on Robinson.
The good thing about Zac Robinson here is that he will adapt to the star players rather than make the stars adapt to the offense they know how to run. All three players should be highlighted in this new-look Falcons offense in 2024. Outside of the coaching scheme coming in, their biggest test is to bring in or improve on the quarterback room that they have right now. I don’t think the current coaching staff coming in will be able to fix Desmond Ridder, so it will be vital for them to bring in some competition. We could be seeing a more electric Falcons offense in 2024.
Get the Dynasty Nerds app in the Apple and Google Play stores. Mock drafts for Superflex, 1QB, and Standard. If you are a DynastyGM subscriber, it even syncs with your actual teams so that you can do rookie mock drafts with ALL of your actual picks on your desktop.