Raheem Morris, the Redskins’ new defensive backs coach, turned down an offer to become the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator because he had verbally accepted the position with Washington a day earlier and didn’t want to go back on his word.
Soon after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Morris following the team’s 4-12 season, the Redskins interviewed Morris. The coach met with coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen. Morris had worked for Allen as a young assistant coach in Tampa.
Morris received an offer from the Redskins. Later that week, the Vikings interviewed Morris for the defensive coordinator’s position, but left without an offer.
“Right away, once I came here, and I came here pretty quickly and got a chance to sit down with these guys, I got a great feel about coming here,” Morris said Wednesday evening. “But 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.”
With the Vikings still interviewing candidates and appearing likely to offer Jacksonville’s Mel Tucker the job, Morris reviewed his options and decided it was best to join Washington’s staff. He accepted the Redskins’ offer on Jan. 11 -- the same day Tucker reportedly turned Minnesota down. On Jan. 12, Minnesota contacted Morris with an offer to become the defensive coordinator. Morris declined, however.
“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 these guys my word, and I wanted to come here and help them this year, and I was going to do it,” Morris explained.
When asked if he wished he had waited a little longer before accepting the Redskins’ offer, Morris said, “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.”