On Thursday, reports surfaced that the Ravens are likely to part ways with Rob Ryan, who served as the team’s Inside Linebackers Coach in 2020. Ryan’s apparent departure creates an opening at this position group on new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s staff.
According to The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebic, the Ravens may be eying a familiar face to fill this role — Zach Orr.
A name to watch as Ravens look to fill their inside linebacker coach vacancy, created when Rob Ryan was let go, is Zachary Orr. Ravens exploring adding him to Mike Macdonald’s defensive staff. Orr, a former Raven coach and player, coached OLBs in Jacksonville last year.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) February 3, 2022
Orr was signed by the Ravens as an undrafted free agent back in 2014. He was primarily a special teams contributor for his first two career seasons before bursting onto the scene as a starting linebacker in 2016. In 15 starts that year, Orr was one of the league’s leading tacklers (133) and recorded three interceptions. He earned second-team All-Pro honors.
Unfortunately, his promising playing days were cut short. After suffering a serious spine/neck injury, Orr could not get medically cleared to play and was forced to retire in 2017. He was only 25 years old at the time.
Orr joined the Ravens’ defensive coaching staff as an analyst, a role he occupied for the next three seasons. Then, in 2021, he joined the Jaguars as an Outside Linebackers Coach. Now, after a one-year stint in Jacksonville, the Ravens apparently want Orr to return home and replace Ryan as the team’s Inside Linebackers Coach.
This development isn’t very surprising. Orr was well-respected and highly-regarded in the organization during his time in Baltimore, both as a player and coach. A potential return to the Ravens would seemingly be a seamless transition given his experience with John Harbaugh and Macdonald.
Macdonald first joined the Ravens as a coaching intern in 2014, Orr’s rookie season, before serving on the defensive staff from 2015-2020. He had an opportunity to work with Orr while he was playing and coaching. The two both left Baltimore in 2021, also, so they have been almost joint the hip together. Macdonald, 34, is only five years older than Orr, who is now 29.
The Jaguars are in a transition at the moment having just hired Doug Pederson as their new head coach. It remains to be seen how Pederson wants to configure his staff in Jacksonville but either way, Orr joining the Ravens seems like a good possibility if things fall into place.
Stay tuned for more updates and share your thoughts below.