Baltimore Ravens

Combine notebook: Marvin Lewis praises new Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban

INDIANAPOLIS — New Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban worked with Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick with the Philadelphia Eagles and then moved to the Cincinnati, where he mentored Bengals receivers, including A.J. Green.

Toward the end of his news conference Friday, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis praised his former assistant whose next challenge will be tutoring Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.


“James has a great knowledge of the game of football,” Lewis said. “When he came to us from Andy Reid in Philadelphia, Andy wanted to see James grow. I watched James grow. James, from the onset, came in and did a fine job in coaching our receivers and being a big part of everything we did in the evaluation process of both the quarterbacks and the receivers, all the time.”

Griffin keeps wowing them

On a much-anticipated day at the combine where the quarterbacks threw and the wide receivers ran the 40-yard dash, one of the highlights was provided by former Central Florida outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin.


Griffin, who lost his left hand, because of a prenatal condition, did 20 repetitions on the bench press while using a prosthetic on his left arm.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said Friday that he’s done his homework on Griffin who had 16 tackles for loss, seven sacks and one interception in his final college season.

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“On Saturdays during the season, I watch a lot of college football. I’ve had the opportunity to watch him play on TV and also on tape. He was down at the Senior Bowl,” Newsome said. “The thing with any player is how you play and what’s on tape and he has good tape.”

Making the switch

Coming out of Middletown in Frederick County in 2014, Rick Leonard was a standout defensive end and one of the best high school prospects in Maryland. Coming out of Florida State, Leonard’s outlook is entirely different.

He switched from defensive end to offensive line in his junior season. After starting six games at right tackle in 2016 and all 13 games there for the Seminoles in 2017, Leonard’s quick and successful transition was rewarded with an invite to the scouting combine.

“It was difficult,” Leonard said Thursday. “Obviously, I’m still learning. I have so much to learn, man. But I picked it up pretty quickly. About halfway through my first year was when I really had a full grasp, like, ‘All right, I know what I’m doing.’ I felt confident.”

Given his lack of experience at right tackle, Leonard is considered a raw prospect. However, he’s a candidate to be selected on the third day of the draft.

“For only playing offensive line for two years and my prior knowledge of defense, I understand football pretty well,” Leonard said.


End zone

Alabama’s Rashaan Evans, one of the top inside linebackers in the draft, said he expected to meet with the Ravens Saturday night. … Newsome, who is a member of the competition committee, acknowledged Friday that the group is still working through alterations to the catch rule.