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What Players & Coaches Are Saying About Zach Orr

Defensive Coordinator Zach Orr
Defensive Coordinator Zach Orr

The Ravens' hiring of new Defensive Coordinator Zach Orr is receiving plaudits from Ravens players, coaches, and more.

Here's what people are saying about Orr:

LB Roquan Smith: "I have an immense amount of respect for 'ZO' and the way he goes about work, day in and day out. While it's unfortunate that his career was cut short due to an injury, I feel like he carries that passion over to the game of football and coaching. You don't know which day will be your last, so you have to give everything you have while you have it; I see he lives by that. Yes, I'm extremely happy for him. He brings passion on the field, off the field and in the meeting room, as well his football IQ and the ability to relate to players. He's very young and has been in the game recently, so I think overall, it's a really good fit for our defense. Everyone around the building respects him; it's not just because of what he says, but because of his actions and the way he goes about things. I think it's going to be great for our defense, and I'm fired up with him leading the charge. I know his mentality is very similar to mine, so I'm stoked. I just know it's going to be great for us."

LB Patrick Queen: "He cares, man. Like just really the same thing I said about Mike [Macdonald]. He cares. He isn't going to rest until he gets the job done. I think just him being so young, he can relate to everybody and being that he played the game at a high level, All-Pro, it's everything that you can want in a coach. It's somebody that's been in your shoes before, that understands you, and just knows defense, and knows ball, and knows that you're going to do whatever you need to do to have somebody's back. So they got everything they need right there from him."

S Kyle Hamilton: "Z.O. is my dog, he's a great dude, great coach, knows what he's talking about. I think a bunch of the guys are going to be behind him, and it's just awesome to see the success that he's had."

NT Michael Pierce: "I'm excited to have Zach as a D.C. for many reasons: Firstly, I've been in the organization long enough to have him as a teammate. My rookie year, Zach was an All-Pro. Knowing that he was undrafted two years prior to me arriving definitely gave me something to aspire to. One thing I always noticed and respected about Zach was how hard he worked and the energy he brought to every practice and game. His motor never stopped! To then see his career cut short due to his spinal condition was disheartening. But to see him then pivot to coaching and work his way up the ranks so quickly is truly inspiring. He's a great football mind who brings to work every day that same intensity, passion and knowledge he played with. He challenges guys on a level that only a former player could. He also can see the game and coach the game from a coach's point of view, as-well as a player's. Zach knows what it means to be a Raven and carry the shield. He also knows what it takes daily to uphold that tradition. He's been here basically his whole career, and he embodies what we strive to display every Sunday. He is a true Raven."

CB Brandon Stephens: "I'm very excited for 'ZO.' He's devoted so much to this game, and he is very deserving for the next role he's about to take on. He is a leader at heart and a student of the game. I know he will work tirelessly to uphold the standard that has been built so we are set up for success."

OLB Odafe Oweh: "I'm excited to start next season with Zach being our defensive coordinator. He just brings a different type of passion and a different perspective to the game that you have to appreciate. Throughout the season last year, it was a great season. He was just a big catalyst of that with the passion he brought to each meeting, the insight and intelligence that he brought with every slide. He always had a good tell for us. He always had good insight on the personnel that we had. His understanding of the game was just always impressive, and we looked up to him as someone who was dominant on the field and could teach you the Xs and Os and lead a group of men. I'm very excited to be on this journey with Coach Zach in his first year as the defensive coordinator. I really believe there isn't anyone else who deserves this accomplishment more than him. He's very deserving of it, so I look forward to it. His drive and his passion are really second to none. One thing I always notice about Zach is that his voice is always loud. It's always in the highest pitch, and you have to respect it because it never wavers. He's always bringing that action. He's always bringing that energy to just make sure that everyone is on their toes and make sure every guy is at the same level. We play a very violent game, and he brings that passionate mentally; he brings that passion in the Xs and Os. He's just that good of a coach, and I'm excited for his opportunity."

Head Coach John Harbaugh: "Zach is super talented [and] super enthusiastic. He's very smart. He has prepared for that job. He's in the middle of the defense. I think when you're a linebackers coach, that's an advantage because you're in the middle of the defense, [and] you understand the whole defense inside and out. You have a big picture. It helps you with defensive play calling, for sure. Anytime a linebackers coach usually has an advantage as far as that goes. [With] Zach, there's no reason not to put Zach in that position in my mind right now, and I think he'll do a great job."

General Manager Eric DeCosta: "You do have certain players over the years [who] you think about, 'Would this guy make a great coach?' We were just talking about a couple of guys the other day that played here [and] that we thought would make great coaches. [Defensive coordinator] Zach [Orr] comes from a football family – his brothers played, his dad played – he's got a coaching background in his family, and he's a student of the game. Zach is not the biggest guy. You guys that covered him as a player here know; I think he probably played at 218 [pounds], maybe 220. I mean, he had a hard time keeping weight on, but what made Zach so good as a player was [that] he had a great instinct for the game. He was very, very quick to key and diagnose, and he played with a passion, and he was just relentless to the football. Those qualities make a great coach, so I have no doubt that Zach is going to be a great defensive coordinator and probably, if I had a crystal ball, a head coach someday."

Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald: "I love Zach Orr. He is going to knock it out of the park. He is a future head coach in this league, so enjoy him while you have him. But the guys are going to play with their hair on fire and they're going to play together, I know that. Zach understands what it looks like in Baltimore, and he connects with the players better than anyone I've ever been around. Zach's going to do a tremendous job."

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