James Urban: headed to Ravens.
For the second time in 10 years this week the Bengals saw their successful wide receivers coach become the quarterbacks coach of the division rival Ravens when James Urban left for Baltimore.
Now the Bengals are not only in the market for an offensive line coach, but also a quarterbacks and receivers coach as head coach Marvin Lewis and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor re-make a staff in the wake of the offense's dead-last finish in the NFL.
They are expected to interview candidates both inside and outside the club.
Urban, the only position coach A.J. Green has ever had in the NFL, moved on after his seven seasons with the club mirrored Green's selection to the Pro Bowl every year.
"It's hard for me to leave. A lot of great memories on that field," Urban said. "But guys always move on. That's the way this business is. It will be a great challenge for me professionally."
It's believed that Lazor hoped Urban would be his quarterbacks coach, the position he worked under head coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
But with the Bengals making a fourth change in coordinators since he arrived with Jay Gruden in 2011, Urban opted to be reunited with Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, his coordinator in Philly. Plus, Urban's eight seasons crossed paths with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh's stint with the Eagles.
On Friday, Harbaugh raved about signing Urban and why not? Urban's receivers have demolished the Ravens. If it hasn't been Green taking over fourth quarters in 2014 and 2015 in Baltimore to beat them, it was just on Sunday that Tyler Boyd put a stake through the Ravens' post-season hopes on that 49-yard TD catch with 44 seconds left for the 31-27 win.
Which all made it tough for Urban to leave. When he left the Eagles to go to a Bengals team blowing it up in 2011, Urban remembers friends questioning his sanity.
"Marvin took a chance on me. Give him credit. They were starting over and he put that staff together," said Urban of the 9-7 season in 2011 that started a run of five straight post-season berths. "This is a great place to work. I've got so much respect for Mike (Brown) and Katie and Troy (Blackburn) and the job that Duke (Tobin) does and doesn't get enough credit. It's a first-class place."
When Harbaugh took the Ravens job in 2008, he hired former Bengals wide receivers coach Hue Jackson to coach quarterbacks. After coaching the high flying Bengals receivers of 2004-06 (Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Henry), Jackson became the Falcons' offensive coordinator on the staff that got blown up by head coach Bobby Petrino's resignation.
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Just the presence of the very large Cordy Glenn at left tackle at Tuesday's start of mandatory minicamp is evidence of the effort to shore up the offense since he arrived via trade for a first-rounder. But the hopes of a little-used role player also reflect how this offense may be changed by as much philosophy as looks. Remember Ryan Hewitt, the forgotten fullback?