Bengals WRs make Urban move

Posted Feb 21, 2011

Updated: 5:40 p.m.


Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis turned to one of the NFL's most potent offenses Monday to fill his wide receivers coaching job with Eagles assistant offensive coordinator James Urban.

Urban, 37, was quarterback Michael Vick's position coach the past two years before he was promoted following Vick's NFL Comeback Player of the Year season. He had been with the Eagles since 2004 as head coach Andy Reid's assistant and later as an offensive quality control coach.

Lewis also shook up the defensive staff in the wake of assistant secondary coach Louie Cioffi's move to Arizona. Paul Guenther, entering his seventh season on staff, moves from assisting the linebackers to the defensive backs while continuing to assist special teams.

David Lippincott, an offensive assistant the last three seasons, has been promoted to a full staff position as the defensive quality control coach. His major roles will be replacing Cioffi in video breakdowns and game plan preparation, while also working with the defensive line and linebackers.

In Urban the Bengals are getting an assistant that is no doubt comfortable with new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's playbook, which figures to look a lot like the one the Eagles have. Reid mentored former Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden in the West Coast scheme and Jay Gruden was his brother's right-hand man with the Buccaneers.

“I am very excited to be able to bring Jim to Cincinnati to work with our receivers,” Lewis in a news release. “He brings us a wealth of knowledge in an offensive system very similar to what Jay Gruden is installing for us. This is a very good fit for our team.”

Urban has seen a lot of yards during his various stints in Philly. The Eagles were second in yards per game and third in yards per pass last season under Vick. They were 11th in total offense in Donovan McNabb's final Eagles season in 2009 and in 2008 Philly made the NFC title game with the No. 9 offense and sixth-rated passing game.

Lewis has become friendly with Reid down through the years (they went on a USO trip together this past summer) and he no doubt had a lot of input with Lewis on the hire. A couple of Philly sportswriters said Monday that Reid went out of his way the last couple of years to praise Urban for his work with Vick in the pocket.

After seven seasons of mentoring under Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Urban said he felt it was a good time to move.

"I have aspirations. I want to be a coordinator and a head coach," Urban said. "I'll always be thankful to Coach Reid for bringing me into the league and for all the things I learned from him and Coach Mornhinweg. This was an opportunity to work under another great head coach and to build and expand on what I've already learned with the Eagles."

Urban said Gruden's offense sounds familiar.

"There sounds like some common thread. Some of the language is the same. It is similar looking," Urban said. "I'm anxious to jump in. Jay Gruden has some interesting ideas and thoughts and it looks like he's taking off quickly."

As for Vick, Urban knows he had plenty with which to work.

"All the credit goes to Michael Vick," Urban said. "We had a plan, we had an idea. But in the end, it comes down to the player executing it and Michael did it with a lot of hard work. I'm proud of him."

Urban, a native of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was an assistant to Reid from 2004-06 and offensive quality control coach in 2007 and ’08. He was a wide receiver and kick returner at Division III Washington and Lee before coaching for seven years at Clarion University and the University of Pennsylvania. He worked with wide receivers and tight ends at Clarion from 1997-98 and from 1999-2003 he worked at Penn as director of football administration and then football operations.

With the Urban hire, how soon do the rumors start for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb? With Carson Palmer's trade-me-or-trade-me edict, one option the Bengals are probably looking at is pursuing a veteran. They are also probably mulling drafting one high. They could also do both. Or do neither.

Kolb would have to be obtained in a trade. Last season he had seven touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 76 passer rating.

Lippincott, the son of Bengals director of footbal operations Jim Lippincott, drew praise for his work with wide receiver Jerome Simpson the past two seasons. But his background is defense. A grad of Cincinnati Moeller High School and the University of Dayton, Lippincott coached the defensive line at Bluffton and worked with the linebackers and secondary during a graduate assistant stint at Minnesota and as a defensive assistant at Richmond.


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