Jerome Simpson is positively giddy over his future working under new receivers coach James Urban. Urban was brought in to replace Mike Sheppard who left to go to Jacksonville. He brings with him extensive experience working under Andy Reid, who once employed Jay Gruden's brother Jon as offensive coordinator. It is that connection to the "West Coast" offense that made Urban a target for the Bengals.
Urban's arrival in Cincinnati came as somewhat of a shock to the Eagles who had just promoted him to assistant offensive coordinator after his successful season as quarterbacks coach working with Michael Vick. It was believed by some to be a precursor to Kevin Kolb coming to Cincinnati, although that never materialized. Urban told a Philadelphia paper that "it was time for a change" and the he views the position in Cincinnati as an opportunity to expand his knowledge base and help himself toward his goal of being a head coach some day.
Simpson and his teammates are excited about the change. Simpson said the new offense is "player friendly" and fits the current personnel well. "“You get to your position, be an athlete and make a play." This is a welcome change for Simpson who struggled in Bob Bratkowski's system.
Simpson also has high praise for Urban's interpersonal skills. "He's a great coach, easy to talk to. He understands the game and we all love playing for him." Simpson's enthusiasm has been evident thus far in training camp as he and the rest of the receiving corps have been drawing rave reviews for their performance and work ethic.
With Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco gone, the Cincinnati receivers will look very different this year. If the first few practices are any indication, that could be a marked improvement thanks to the arrival of James Urban.
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