Ravens name Zach Orr as defensive coordinator

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens coach John Harbaugh named Zach Orr defensive coordinator on Thursday, replacing Mike Macdonald, who was named the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday.

Orr, 31, is entering his eighth year as an NFL coach, serving as the Ravens’ inside linebackers coach for the past two seasons.

“Zach is a homegrown Raven in every way,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “His energy, intelligence, work ethic and strong communication skills have been on display since the day he joined our organization as a player in 2014. From making our team as an undrafted rookie to becoming an All-Pro linebacker, then later transitioning to an assistant coach who helped mentor multiple Pro Bowl defenders, Zach has excelled at every level of his football journey.

“He knows our players and understands our standard as well as anyone. I’m confident that he is prepared to take on the challenge of continuing to develop our players and scheme as our next defensive coordinator.”

As a player, Orr was signed by the Ravens in 2014 as an undrafted rookie free agent from North Texas. He played in 46 games over three seasons, finishing with 163 tackles, one sack, eight tackles for loss, six passes defensed, three interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Orr earned AP second-team All-Pro honors in 2016.

After his retirement in 2016 because of a congenital neck/spine condition, Orr transitioned to coaching with the Ravens as a personnel assistant (2017-18) and then as a defensive coaching analyst (2019-20) before becoming the inside linebackers coach.

Over the past two seasons, Orr worked closely with inside linebackers Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith, who were the only duo in the NFL to post at least 130 tackles apiece last season.  The Ravens ranked top 10 in yards allowed per game (312.8, sixth), rushing yards allowed per game (100.8, fifth), passing yards allowed per game (212.1, ninth), points allowed per game (17.5, second), opponent third-down conversion percentage (35.7 percent, third), opponent red-zone efficiency (43.8 percent, first) and takeaways (56, fourth).

Orr also served as the Jaguars’ outside linebackers coach in 2021 and the defense finished in the AFC’s Top 10 in yards allowed per game (353.1) and passing yards allowed per game (227.9).


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