Darrell Bevell unlikely to return; Lions reportedly interview Ravens’ James Urban for OC

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
 
| Detroit Free Press

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Dan Campbell is close to bringing one of his former teammates with him to the Detroit Lions as defensive coordinator, and the new coach has met with at least one candidate for offensive coordinator as well.

NFL Network reported the Lions interviewed Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban for their offensive coordinator position Wednesday.

Urban has spent the past three seasons with the Ravens, where he worked closely with 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

Dan Campbell’s philosophy sounds nice, but does it win in playoffs? ]

Jackson, one of the best running quarterbacks in NFL history, has a distinctly different playing style than Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, but Urban is known as a bright offensive mind who learned under Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

Urban spent seven seasons (2004-10) with Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles, the last two as quarterbacks coach, and seven more as receivers coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Darrell Bevell, who spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and finished this season as interim head coach, is unlikely to return to the Lions.

Bevell, one of six people who interviewed for the head coaching job, is a candidate for other high-level assistant positions.

READ: Lions GM Brad Holmes will ‘collaborate’ with new coach on building roster

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Stafford thrived under Bevell’s tutelage the past two seasons. He threw for 2,499 yards in eight games in 2019, before missing the second half of the season with a back injury.

In 2020, Stafford completed 66.9% of his passes, averaged 297.8 yards per game (not including the one series he played against Tampa) and posted a 106.2 quarterback rating during Bevell’s stint as interim coach.

In the first 11 games of the season, with Matt Patricia as head coach, Stafford completed 63.2% of his passes for 261.5 yards per game with a 92.7 quarterback rating.

New Lions general manager Brad Holmes said Tuesday he plans to evaluate Stafford’s future this offseason, along with the rest of the Lions roster.

“Matthew, great player,” Holmes said. “And what you really appreciate is, I think the talent level is easy to see. But you really appreciate how his intangibles show on film. Just how urgent he plays, how competitive he is and the toughness that he shows. But it is my job to evaluate the entire roster and through that process I have not have had any discussions with Matt or any players, for that matter. So I just want to be fair to the process to make sure that we evaluate that thoroughly.”

Here’s the big concern with the Lions hiring Dan Campbell ]

Sean Ryan, the Lions quarterbacks coach the past two seasons, is expected to take the same position with the Carolina Panthers, and former Texas A&M strength coach Mike Clark is expected to join Campbell’s new staff.

Campbell played at Texas A&M during Clark’s tenure at the school.

The Lions also have asked to interview Eagles special teams coach Dave Fipp, but so far have not been granted permission.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. 

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