Zach Orr

Getty Ravens’ Zach Orr makes interception.

The Baltimore Ravens had one of the top defenses during the 2023 season and were a scary sight on the schedule for opposing offenses. Part of the reason was former defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, but now they will be relying on new defensive coordinator Zach Orr to take the helm.

Star safety Marcus Williams spoke with NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger and Mike Garafolo on “The Insiders” about the upcoming season and touched on his new coach. Williams said, “Man he definitely has the respect of the room.”

2024 will be Orr’s inaugural season as a defensive coordinator in the NFL and he takes over for a team that has Super Bowl plans.

“You know I have the utmost respect for him. The way he presents himself, the way he carries himself, and how he coaches us and how he listens to whatever we have to say,” Williams told NFL Network.

Orr will have plenty of players to lean on in a veterans and star ladened defense. LB Roquan Smith, DT Justin Madubuike and safety Kyle Hamilton are three of the top players at their position at the defensive side of the ball.

It will be up to Orr to put them in the right positions to succeed but he will have plenty of help. Other key defenders like Williams and CB Marlon Humphrey will provide veteran leadership and additional support for the young coach.

Zach Orr Will Have Big Shoes to Fill in 2024

Orr astonishingly is only 32 years old, younger than some of his players, but has been a part of the NFL since 2014. The DC was an undrafted free agent picked up by the Ravens in 2014 and was a LB for the Ravens for three seasons, being named to an All-Pro Second Team.

Unfortunately, according to his biography on the Ravens website, “He transitioned to coaching in 2016 following his retirement from the NFL due to a congenital neck/spine condition.”

From 2017 to 2020 Orr was a coaching and personnel assistant for the Ravens defensive unit and coached top players like LB Terrell Suggs and Matthew Judon.

“He was very patient with me.” Roquan on his relationship with DC Zach Orr:

“Prior to rejoining Baltimore, Orr spent one season (2021) as the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ outside linebackers coach,” according to his Biography.

He returned as the inside linebackers coach in 2022 under then defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. Macdonald is considered one of the great minds of the NFL, and after leading the Ravens’ defense to consecutive great years was one of the hottest candidates in the coaching carousel.

Macdonald left after the 2023 season to take the head coaching position of the Seattle Seahawks leaving the DC job open. The Ravens did their due diligence on his replacement and decided the in-house Orr would be the best option.

Marcus Williams Not Worried About Zach Orr’s Age

Garafolo prompted the questions by asking Williams about Orr’s age, mentioning “Kyle Van Noy is 33″ and asking him “how does he command the respect” of the players.

Williams was not concerned in the least by age and said, “He comes in every day and puts in that time, that work. You know age is just a number.” The 2023 Ravens were no. 1 in points allowed and no. 6 in yards allowed, so Orr will have his work cut out for him maintaining that dominance.

However, Williams believes the coach has the mindset to succeed, he said, “You put in that time and that effort to come out and be the best at your role as he did as a player, he’s gonna do as a coach.”

Young coaches have had success in the NFL, so it will be on Orr to bring the right attitude to the job, but as Williams puts it, “He’s also not gonna you know hold back just because he feels that we’re about the same age. You know he’s still going to give you that good hard coaching.”

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