Morris turned down Vikings' DC offer

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris said he turned down an offer to become defensive coordinator of the Vikings because he had already verbally committed to the Washington Redskins.

The Minnesota Vikings offered their defensive coordinator position to Raheem Morris before settling on Alan Williams, according to what Morris told the Washington Post.

Morris turned down the offer because he had already verbally accepted the job to coach defensive backs with the Washington Redskins.

"A lot of people might think it's a missed opportunity not going to Minnesota after they offered, but I believe that in this game, all you have is your word and your tape, and I gave (the Redskins) my word, and I wanted to come here and help them this year, and I was going to do it," Morris told the Post.

After Morris was fired as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he interviewed for the Redskins' defensive coordinator position with head coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen, with whom Morris had worked in Tampa.

He later interviewed with the Vikings but wasn't immediately offered the job in Minnesota. He received and accepted the offer from the Redskins, and the following day the Vikings offered him their coordinator job. Asked if he regretted not waiting longer to accept the Washington job, he told the Post: "Can't ever think like that in this business. It's about being honest and upfront with people, and I feel like I handled it with class."

In the past, the Vikings have been criticized for making coaching decisions too quickly. They didn't want Brad Childress to interview with the Green Bay Packers in 2006 and offered him the job, which he accepted, before he left town. After firing Childress in the midst of a 6-10 season in 2010, the Vikings offered Frazier the head-coaching job on a full-time basis on Jan. 3, 2011.

Frazier, in turn, quickly decided on Fred Pagac as his defensive coordinator after promoting him to that role on an interim basis when Frazier took over as interim head coach 10 games into the 2010 season. Frazier demoted Pagac back to linebackers coach earlier this month and proceeded to interview candidates for the defensive coordinator position, including Morris and Mel Tucker of the Jacksonville Jaguars. When Jacksonville decided on Mike Mularkey as the new head coach, Tucker decided to remain there as defensive coordinator/assistant head coach.

Tucker and Morris appeared to be the top candidates in Minnesota, but Morris felt he needed to give Washington an answer while the Vikings continued to interview candidates.

"I got an opportunity to interview with Minnesota, and I did, and we waited a little bit, but I didn't want to miss a great opportunity to come to Washington. So I had to give these guys an answer in Washington, and I gave them the answer, and I felt confident in my decision," Morris told the Post.

The Vikings announced the hiring of Alan Williams as their defensive coordinator on Jan. 19.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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