Zach Orr "definitely" getting more comfortable calling plays day by day

At one time, Zach Orr was a key member of the Ravens defense, starting 15 games for the team in 2016.

Now he's going to call Baltimore's defense in 2024 after the Ravens promoted him to coordinator this offseason.

Replacing Mike Macdonald — who was hired as Seattle's head coach — Orr said this week that he’s getting more comfortable as the defensive play-caller throughout the offseason program, day by day.

“Coach [John] Harbaugh does a great job of putting us in these game-like situations, even as play-callers and as coaches,” Orr said in his press conference. "We always do ‘move the ball,’ [and] we do ‘call-it periods,’ where there is no script, you have to call it, and you have to think on the fly and use your play-calling sheet.

“And just how I prepare, I just go back and — when I’m watching the film or watching games from last year — just look at how I would call it, looking at the situation [and] trying to put myself in those shoes. And then, just before practice, just reviewing my play-call sheet and just trying to play out scenarios in my head that could possibly come up.”

Orr added that he “definitely” can remember times as a player when he might’ve called something different if he had the chance. Now he does.

“When you’re a player, a lot of times, you think you have all the answers,” Orr said. “You’re like, ‘Man, we could do this, we could do that.’ But when you step back and you become a coach and you become a play-caller, you kind of see the bigger picture of things. You’re not just thinking about you’re one particular area or position that you’re playing — you take a step back and think about the whole game.”

With Orr as the team's inside linebackers coach, the Ravens finished 2023 No. 1 in points allowed and No. 6 in yards allowed. Now that he's going to be on the headset, Orr has a significant job ahead to keep Baltimore's defense as one of the best in the league.