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Atlanta Falcons: Morris jokes he feels like Taylor Swift amid Cousins-Penix noise

Raheem Morris is frustrated to see the Atlanta Falcons’ first-round selection of Michael Penix Jr. – and the possibility of a negative reaction from fellow quarterback Kirk Cousins – emerge as the big story from the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Falcons coach added all the talk about the decision had made him feel like Taylor Swift, whose relationship with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce was the biggest story of the 2023 NFL season.

On Thursday, Atlanta stunned the league by taking Penix – one of the top QB prospects on the board – with the eighth pick of the first round.

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That selection was made just one month after the team handed former Minnesota Vikings QB Cousins a huge $180million deal, with owner Arthur Blank eyeing a Super Bowl run in 2024.

Cousins’ agent Mike McCartney subsequently suggested his client was blindsided by the pick, but coach Morris says the 36-year-old remains their starter and has nothing to worry about.

“We came up with a decision, this is what we plan to do,” Morris said. “Kirk does not have to look over his shoulder every time he throws a bad pass. That is not the case.

“I know I’m going to have to tell you guys once or twice that that is not the case. We are here to win, and we are here to win it all. We are here to win as much as we can win.”

Morris added that while he and general manager Terry Fontenot understand why the selection has made a splash, they are uncomfortable with the amount of talk surrounding it.

“I hate for it to be like the story of the draft. I know it will be,” Morris, who took over as Atlanta coach in January, said.

“That’s just how our world is based and is driven, but I can’t say it’s not annoying.

“It’s what people want to see; it’s piqued more interest. What’s Kelce’s girlfriend’s name? I feel like her right now. I’m Taylor Swift and Terry is Kelce, I guess.”

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