Eagles Heavily Linked to Ravens Top Offensive Assistant: Report

James Urban

Getty James Urban is a Pennsylvania native who spent seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

James Urban’s coaching career may be coming full circle. Or, more aptly, spread Eagle.

Urban has been identified as a top target for the Eagles to become the team’s next offensive coordinator. The Ravens quarterbacks coach was long rumored to be in the mix due to his deep Philadelphia ties but now they are reportedly courting him hard.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Urban has been contacted by the Eagles for their offensive coaching vacancy. The move sounds like a perfect marriage for a guy who spent seven seasons as an assistant coach in Philadelphia under then-coach Andy Reid.

Urban joined Reid’s staff in 2004 as a quality-control coach before climbing the ladder all the way up to quarterbacks coach. The 46-year-old worked alongside then-quality control coach Doug Pederson and was largely credited for Michael Vick’s incredible comeback in 2010.

One year removed from a two-year prison sentence for dogfighting, Vick was back in the MVP conversation after throwing for 3,018 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for another 676 yards and six scores. Urban left the organization in 2011 when Reid was fired and took a job as wide-receivers coach with the Cincinnati Bengals. Under Urban’s watch, A.J. Green ranked fourth in total receiving yards (8,213) from 2011-17.

Urban Credited with Unleashing Jackson on the NFL

James Urban accepted the position of quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 where he helped unleash Lamar Jackson on the NFL.

Jackson threw for 3,127 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns in 2019 while rushing for another 1,206 yards and seven scores. Jackson is the odds-on favorite to win NFL MVP this year and credited Urban for his development.

“You practice how you play. ‘Urb,’ Coach Urban, has done a great job talking to me about it,” Jackson told reporters, via Forbes. “I feel like last year some practices, I would lack at practice to my full potential, and now I treat practice like a game. We are scoring our practices, so if I mess up in practice or we lose, I am mad. I hate losing, so yes, treat practices like a game, and it transitions.”

The Eagles have had Urban very high on their candidate list since the season ended but were unable to contact him since the Ravens were still in the playoffs. Following their 28-12 loss to the Titans, the team reached out as their search for a new offensive coordinator kicked into high gear.

Pennsylvania Guy Through and Through

Aside from the excitement of working with Carson Wentz, James Urban’s return to Philadelphia would be a homecoming of sorts.

He was born and raised in Mechanicsburg, PA — a sleepy hamlet located about 2.5 hours away from the city — and started his coaching career at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. At Clarion, Urban was in charge of the tight ends and wide receivers.

Urban spent five years at the University of Pennsylvania where he served as director of football administration and then director of football operations. He worked alongside the legendary Al Bagnoli at Penn before joining Andy Reid as a coaching intern with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004. From there, his legend grew and Urban remains indebted to Reid.

“My entire professional career has been with the Eagles,” Urban told PennLive in 2011. “I just wanted to broaden my horizon and experience in coaching. I’m indebted to Coach Reid for all he has done for me, and he and [Marty] Mornhinweg are good friends and always will be.”

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