Jessie Bates: It almost feels like I've played for Raheem Morris before


Falcons veteran safety Jessie Bates had not played for Raheem Morris before.

But on Tuesday, Bates noted that Atlanta’s new head coach has come in with a sense of familiarity that the safety thinks should benefit everyone.

“With coach Rah, I haven’t played for him or anything like that, but it almost feels like I played for him before,” Bates said in a press conference. With him coming in and setting the atmosphere for what we want to be as a team and the way he’s explaining everything — how he wants us to be football players, he wants guys to be complete men, just overall, all-around great people in this building.

“So, I think it’s really good that you have the top of the top speaking about not just football, but being great people. And I think that can go a long way with us having success this year.”

Bates noted that when Morris was hired, the head coach tried to get in touch with him but Bates didn’t recognize his number. Bates then spoke with new defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake and Morris was around.

“Rah was sitting there [and said], ‘Oh you don’t want to answer my phone call.’ He’s a jokester, man,” Bates said. “He knows the difference between going to work and having a good vibe about himself and not always being so uptight. That causes a lot of people to almost freak out sometimes and not perform at their highest level. So, yeah, coach Rah, he’s great. He always jokes around. I played him in the Super Bowl when he beat us. He talks about [how] he called a great game as a defensive coordinator. He brags about that all the time.

“So, like I said, just a great person — you ask anybody around the league, he’s been around this league for a very long time and I’ve heard nothing but positive things and he’s showing it day-in and day-out.”

While Bates just signed with Atlanta in 2023 and didn’t get multiple years with the previous coaching staff, he has an appreciation for the new energy Morris has brought with him.

“Anytime things change, sometimes it’s kind of questioned a little bit,” Bates said. “But it’s a good feel. Like I said, I think Rah is doing it the right way of laying our foundation, and what that looks like, and how do we attack it, getting to that point. So, very exciting to have a leader like Rah lead us this year.”



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