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After making a push to hire New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn to be the next defensive coordinator — a move that is not yet finalized, but the Lions are “the clear favorite” per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler — the Detroit Lions are making now taking a run at a potential offensive coordinator.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that the Lions have interviewed Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback coach James Urban on Wednesday for their offensive coordinator role.
Urban began his NFL coaching career in 2004 with the Philadelphia Eagles under then-coach Andy Reid. He started out as the Eagles assistant to the head coach in 2004-06, then moved to an offensive assistant and quality control roles in 2007-08, and eventually earning a quarterbacks coaching role in 2009-10 — working with quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick.
In 2011, he joined Marvin Lewis’ Cincinnati Bengals as a wide receivers coach and held that role for the next seven years. During the 2012-15 seasons, he worked directly with Lions’ receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Mohamad Sanu.
In 2018, Urban joined John Harbaugh’s Ravens as their QB coach and was immediately tasked with coaching then-rookie Lamar Jackson. Jackson’s technique and footwork were considered raw when he entered the league, and under Urban’s tutelage, he has helped the young signal-caller add layers to his overall game. In 2019, Jackson was the league’s MVP.
Urban is well-liked throughout the league, is thought of as a highly intelligent coach who can effectively communicate his message. His connections with three established head coaches and track record for developing players is something that is surely very appealing to the Lions.