The Detroit Lions are beginning on the process of filling out their new coaching staff with Dan Campbell now in the fold, and the names for offensive and defensive coordinator will soon surface.
On Wednesday, an interesting interview surfaced. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Lions spoke with Baltimore Ravens‘ quarterbacks coach James Urban about becoming their next offensive coordinator. Urban has been with the Ravens for the last three years and has worked closely during that time with one of the best young passers in the game in Lamar Jackson.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 20, 2021
Rumors say the Lions already have Aaron Glenn as the leader in the clubhouse to become the team’s next defensive coordinator, making the offensive hire the next one to watch. Several names have been swirling in recent days including Mike Kafka, the passing game coordinator for Kansas City. Nothing has been officially revealed on that front, so the interviews are likely to continue.
Urban would bring the Lions a fresh perspective and he has been a position coach in multiple offensive levels before, having coached wideouts in the NFL as well as quarterbacks. That diversified approach could help him should he become an offensive coordinator and could help the Lions as well.
This would be Urban’s first role as a play caller if he were to get Detroit’s offensive coordinator job.
James Urban Biography
Urban, 48, is certainly not light on offensive experience. He was Andy Reid’s assistant head coach in Philadelphia while sticking as an offensive assistant and quality control coach from 2007 to 2008. In 2009 and 2010, he coached quarterbacks for the Eagles. From 2011-2017 he departed to work under Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati as a wideout coach where he oversaw the development of names like A.J. Green and Marvin Jones. In 2018, John Harbaugh tapped him to be Baltimore’s quarterback coach to work with Lamar Jackson.
A graduate of Washington and Lee, Urban played college football as a wideout and a kick returner and jumped into his coaching career soon after that, working at Clarion in 1997-1998 and Penn from 1999-2003 before jumping into the NFL after that point.
Ravens Could Face Major 2021 Staff Changes
James Urban isn’t the only member of the Baltimore staff who could be moving on this offseason. While defensive coordinator Don Martindale will stay, linebacker coach Mike Macdonald has already departed for Michigan to run Jim Harbaugh’s defense. Defensive backs coach Jesse Minter will leave to be Vanderbilt’s defensive coordinator. Wideout coach David Culley joined the lineup of potentially departing Ravens coaches when he interviewed for the Houston Texans head coaching job this past week, though it could be a long shot he gets it in the end.
Will Urban join these ranks and will the Ravens have to replace him? It’s clear he is at least pondering the move at this point given the interview, but the Lions will have to decide that in the end.