Urban reaches crossroads in NFL career
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Jerheme Urban is well aware that Todd Haley has become the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Urban played for Haley with the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Victoria native is looking for a place to play next season after completing a two-year deal with the Chiefs.
"Free agency seems so far away," Urban said of the signing period, which begins in March. "We'll see if somebody calls and what team might be the best fit for me."
Urban, 31, has made the most his NFL career, which began when he signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent out of Trinity University in 2003.
He has 91 receptions for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns.
His best season came in 2008 when he caught 34 passes for 448 yards and four touchdowns to help the Cardinals reach the Super Bowl.
The two years Urban spent in Kansas City were among the most disappointing for the Stroman graduate.
An injury forced him to miss the entire 2010 season, and he was only active for six games and started just one last season.
"Absolutely it was frustrating," Urban said. "But you have to respect the coaches' decision. You just come to work every day, do your job and work hard because you never know what can happen."
Urban had four catches for 35 yards and one touchdown last season, and his first career rush, which went for 7 yards.
"When I got a chance, I graded out pretty good," Urban said. "I was doing what they asked. It was a mentally-challenging situation. I was still trying to get better and help the team get better."
Urban's duties included playing quarterback for the scout team when the Chiefs were preparing to play Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.
"I was able to prove I was a professional and was willing to do whatever I could to make the team better," Urban said. "I think the team saw that."
The Chiefs expected to contend for a playoff spot, but wound up with a 7-9 record that led to Haley getting fired after Week 13.
"I think we kind of dug ourselves into a hole early on," Urban said. "They were constantly switching around and trying to find something that worked."
Urban has been enjoying some family time with wife, Emily, and daughter, Liesl, since the season ended.
He's kept busy remodeling a home they purchased in the Hollywood Park section of San Antonio.
Urban plans to return to Victoria in June for his annual camp for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends, which he conducts free of charge.
Urban has recently started getting ready for next season. He has been working out with younger brother, Caleb, a Memorial graduate, who also played at Trinity and recently attended the NFL's regional combine in Houston.
Urban wouldn't mind coaching when his playing career comes to an end, as long he can do so in the San Antonio area.
But Urban isn't ready to give up on his NFL career just yet.
"I want to play two, three or four more seasons," he said. "My body feels great. The upside of not playing much is I didn't get tackled much and I'm feeling great."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.