James Urban

Ravens Interview James Urban, George Godsey, Zac Robinson For OC

Indicating he would include internal options for what he labeled one of the best jobs available this offseason, John Harbaugh has followed through on that. Two of Greg Roman‘s lieutenants have interviewed to replace him.

The Ravens interviewed quarterbacks coach James Urban and tight ends coach George Godsey for the offensive coordinator post, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets. Additionally, the team completed its interview with Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson on Tuesday.

While Godsey joined Harbaugh’s staff in 2022, Urban has been Lamar Jackson‘s position coach throughout the star quarterback’s Baltimore tenure. That will count for something, as the Roman-Urban-Jackson troika was responsible for a quick turnaround that involved the team radically redesigning its offense to suit Jackson. But the former MVP may have grown tired of the setup. Jackson endorsed a tweet reminding he ran a pro-style attack at Louisville, providing another sign of unhappiness with recent Baltimore happenings. Despite an unusual end to his season and being mentioned loosely in trade rumors, Jackson will have input in the Ravens’ OC search.

Urban, 49, began his NFL run on Andy Reid‘s Eagles staffs and has stayed at least five years with each of his three NFL employers; Urban also spent seven years as the Bengals’ wide receivers coach during the 2010s. It will be interesting to see if the Ravens retain him, given Roman’s departure.

Godsey, 44, has experience as an OC, having served in that role with the Texans and Dolphins. Bill O’Brien promoted the ex-Patriots staffer to OC in 2015 but fired him after the ’16 campaign. Godsey has both coached QBs and tight ends during his time in the pros, holding dual roles of co-OC and tight ends coach under Brian Flores in 2021. With Godsey and Eric Studesville running the offense, Miami ranked 22nd in scoring last season.

It would surprise if the Ravens hired an in-house Roman replacement, though the team has promoted from within (Roman, Marty Mornhinweg) to fill this position the past two times it became open. Thus far, Baltimore has contacted seven coaches about the job. Here is how the Ravens’ search looks so far, via PFR’s offensive coordinator search tracker.

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interview requested
  • Dave Canales, quarterbacks coach (Seahawks): Interview requested
  • George Godsey, tight ends coach (Ravens): Interviewed
  • Chad O’Shea, wide receivers coach (Browns): Interview requested
  • Justin Outten, offensive coordinator (Broncos): To interview
  • James Urban, quarterbacks coach (Ravens): Interviewed
  • Zac Robinson, quarterbacks coach (Rams): Interviewed 1/24

Ravens Request OC Interview With Vikings’ Brian Angelichio

The Ravens continue to cast a wide net in search of their new offensive play caller. In addition to considering Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson, Browns wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea, and Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales, Baltimore has requested to interview Vikings passing game coordinator and tight ends coach Brian Angelichio, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Angelichio has been a tight ends coach in the league since 2012 when he followed Greg Schiano from Rutgers to the Buccaneers. Since then, he’s had some bad luck finding head coaches who have stayed in their jobs long term, bouncing around to Cleveland, Green Bay, Washington, and Carolina before his most recent position in Minnesota. Angelichio joined the Vikings’ staff this year with first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, who granted him the new added moniker of passing game coordinator.

Angelichio has a few notable coaching performances on his resume. In 2015, he coached veteran tight end Gary Barnidge to a career 1,043-yard season in which he caught nine touchdowns. He’s also coached some of the NFL’s best recent tight ends, overseeing Jimmy Graham with the Packers as well as Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis in Washington. With Angelichio as passing game coordinator, the Vikings ranked fifth in the NFL in passing yards gained and tied for fourth in the league in passing touchdowns this year.

Angelichio has now had his name added to the ever-growing list of candidates to become the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator, alongside Robinson, O’Shea, and Canales. Fowler added that there are a number of other names he’s hearing as potential candidates including former Colts head coach Frank Reich, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

In addition to the many outside candidates, the Ravens also have at least two in-house candidates in wide receivers coach Tee Martin and quarterbacks coach James Urban. Martin is a recent addition to the NFL coaching ranks, joining the Ravens in 2021 after years as a passing game coordinator and play caller for multiple Power 5 programs in college football. Urban has been with the team since 2018, coaching Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson since his rookie season. He’s never called plays, but he’s been in the NFL since 2004 and worked alongside Ravens head coach John Harbaugh for much of that time.

Baltimore is doing its due diligence with its search for a new offensive play caller. The team has doubled down on their intent to center the offense around Jackson, going as far as to allow him as much input into the coaching search as possible. Angelichio becomes one of many names for Jackson, Harbaugh, and company to consider.

Lions Interview James Urban For OC Job

The Lions are moving forward with their offensive coordinator search. Under new HC Dan Campbell, the team is interviewing Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban for its OC post, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

An NFL position coach for the past 12 seasons, Urban has been in charge of Baltimore’s QBs since 2018. The former Eagles and Bengals assistant was in place when the Ravens transformed their offense midway through the ’18 season, upon moving from Joe Flacco to Lamar Jackson, and has generated OC interest in the past.

The Eagles were interested in Urban last year but did not end up filling their OC position. However, this marks the first known interview Urban has received for an offensive coordinator role. Prior to helping Marty Mornhinweg and then Greg Roman change up the Ravens’ offense for their soon-to-be MVP quarterback, Urban spent seven seasons as the Bengals’ wide receivers coach. Urban, 47, coached five-year Lions wideout Marvin Jones throughout his Cincinnati tenure, though Jones is a free agent this year.

While the Lions interviewed OC-turned-interim HC Darrell Bevell for their HC job, Campbell landing the position signals the franchise will go in a new direction on offense. More OC candidates will soon emerge.

Eagles To Interview USC’s Graham Harrell For OC Job

The Eagles will look to the college ranks during their offensive coordinator search, with Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweeting USC OC Graham Harrell is set to interview for the job.

A former Texas Tech quarterback who spent time with the Packers and Jets in the 2010s, Harrell was the Trojans’ OC last season. He stepped into that role after Kliff Kingsbury abruptly left the position to become the Cardinals’ head coach.

Harrell is a Mike Leach disciple, playing in the pass-happy coach’s Air Raid offense in Lubbock, Texas, before following him to Washington State and serving as the Cougars’ wide receivers coach after his NFL career ended. Harrell, 34, spent three years as North Texas’ offensive coordinator before becoming USC’s OC in 2019. Kingsbury took that job in December 2018 but soon accepted the Cards’ job offer.

USC ranked 20th last season with 454 yards per game, improving significantly from its 382.6 average in 2018. This occurred after sophomore quarterback J.T. Daniels went down with a season-ending injury in Week 1, thrusting true freshman Kedon Slovis into the Trojans’ lineup. Harrell still stands as an unorthodox candidate, with his last connection to the NFL being as a reserve quarterback after going undrafted in 2009. He finished fourth in the 2008 Heisman voting, teaming with Michael Crabtree to lead Texas Tech to an 11-2 season as a senior.

The Eagles fired Mike Groh after two seasons on the job. They’ve been connected to Jim Caldwell and ex-Redskins OC Kevin O’Connell for the job. The Rams, however, hired O’Connell to be their OC. The Eagles also had Ravens QBs coach James Urban as a canidadate, but John Harbaugh confirmed Friday he took himself out of the running after interviewing for the job.

Eagles Interested In James Urban

The Eagles are interested in Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban as a candidate for their offensive coordinator vacancy, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Urban has been credited with developing Lamar Jackson into one of the league’s premier quarterbacks and he could be ripe for a move up the ladder.

Urban also offers familiarity with the organization. Prior to joining the Ravens, he spent years in Philly on Andy Reid‘s staff. Ironically, he went on to become part of the Ravens’ braintrust that pushed for a trade up with the Eagles in the 2018 draft to select Jackson. The Eagles, who then had both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles under contract, had no real place for Jackson.

The Eagles surprised many when they fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh earlier this offseason. Since then, they’ve been researching OC candidates including former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, as well as former Redskins OC Kevin O’Connell.

Draft Notes: 2019 QBs, Browns, Jackson

A possible dearth of quarterback talent in the 2019 draft class may have contributed the first-round aggressiveness of teams in recent years. The Bears, Chiefs, Texans, Jets, Bills and Cardinals traded up to land their hopeful quarterbacks of the future the past two drafts, and Albert Breer of SI.com notes some of the impetus behind these moves may be coming from issues teams have with the crop of passers likely set to populate 2019 big boards.

Not right now, there isn’t one (that would go in the first round as it stands),” an AFC college scouting director told Breer. “The kids at Auburn (Jarrett Stidham), Missouri (Drew Lock) and N.C. State (Ryan Finley), by the end of it, could work their way into the conversation. But on the surface, based on current performance, it’d be a no. Now, if they ascend, which they should, those three guys have a chance to get there.”

Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN.com (Insider link) has both Lock (No. 16) and Oregon’s Justin Herbert (No. 18) in his early top 25 for 2019. Issues with Lock’s completion percentage (57.8 percent is the senior-to-be’s career high) and Herbert’s toughness, per Breer, are early concerns for respective first-round hopefuls. While events of recent years show it’s a good bet a quarterback will be taken in the 2019 first round, Breer compares this crop — at this early juncture — to the 2013 group that saw only E.J. Manuel chosen in Round 1 instead of other recent classes that saw the likes of Jared Goff, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston emerge as obvious down-the-line high draft choices in advance of their final college campaigns.

Here’s more on this year’s draft, courtesy of Breer:

  • Breer reports the Browns “loved both” of the Denzel Ward/Bradley Chubb duo, but the team felt the Ohio State cornerback possessed upside potential the N.C. State defensive end didn’t. Ward started just for one season but sat behind Buckeyes cornerbacks that are now in the NFL. Cleveland brass also didn’t view Chubb as a Myles Garrett– or Jadeveon Clowney-like athletic specimen. Plus, Gregg Williams said the team’s need at corner was greater than the one opposite Garrett. Also noting Ward, who went to Nordonia High School in the Cleveland area, pitched his local ties and desire to help a Browns resurgence, Breer writes the Browns did their homework on this difficult decision and did not make an impulse call on draft night.
  • If the Eagles did not trade their first-round pick to the Ravens, they were going to consider eventual Broncos wideout Courtland Sutton at No. 32, per Breer. Sutton visited the Eagles in early April. Philly has Alshon Jeffery, a player to whom Sutton’s been compared, signed long-term and has Nelson Agholor controlled through 2019. However, the defending Super Bowl champions still signed Mike Wallace and Markus Wheaton, the latter a post-draft addition.
  • Ravens brass needed to hear from John Harbaugh the coaching staff was confident the team could win with Lamar Jackson before trading up to take him, and Breer reports Harbaugh, OC Marty Morhinweg, senior offensive assistant Greg Roman and QBs coach James Urban all developed a plan for the rookie before Ozzie Newsome made the trade with the Eagles. Both Mornhinweg and Urban were in their same positions under Andy Reid on the 2010 Eagles, when Michael Vick resurfaced as a top-flight weapon after previously working intermittently in certain packages. Roman’s work adjusting the 2012 49ers’ offense for Colin Kaepernick also played a role here, Breer writes. The Ravens look to be preparing Jackson sets already.
  • The first four rookies to sign their deals all had offset language built into the contracts, Breer tweets. Da’Ron Payne, Josh Rosen, Marcus Davenport and Quenton Nelson saw their teams include offsets in their deals. Offset language provided one of the sticky points in Joey Bosa‘s 2016 holdout, and the Chargers won out. So far, teams are doing the same with their 2018 top picks.

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Shazier, Ravens

Great news for Ryan Shazier. The Steelers linebacker has regained feeling in his legs, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. Shazier, a two-time Pro Bowler, underwent spinal stabilization surgery in December and is currently going through the rehabilitation process. Shazier’s father hopes to see him playing football again, but he obviously has larger priorities at this time.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • The Ravens announced that they have signed James Urban as their new quarterbacks coach. Urban spent the last seven years in Cincinnati. “Playing the Bengals twice a year, we’ve seen what a good job James does,” head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “He’s highly regarded around the league, including by Ozzie [Newsome] and Marty [Mornhinweg]. We were all excited when he became available.”
  • Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is a prime cap casualty candidate, ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley writes. In 2017, Maclin had career lows in catches and yards. The Ravens can save $5MM in cap room by cutting him before his $1MM roster bonus kicks in on March 16th. Right now, they’re projected to have just $12MM in cap room in 2018. Other cap casualty candidates include cornerback Brandon Carr ($4MM in cap savings), tackle Austin Howard ($3MM in savings), running back Danny Woodhead ($1.8MM in savings), safety Lardarius Webb ($1.75MM in savings), wide receiver Breshad Perriman ($1.62MM in savings), and linebacker Albert McClellan ($1.25MM in savings).
  • NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the league is conducting a “routine follow-up” on Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, as Mike Florio of PFT writes. It’s not often that coaches come under league scrutiny for off-the-field behavior, but Haley has a history of strange incidents. He has two other barroom incidents in his past plus multiple lawsuits that have been brought against him.