From undrafted linebacker to the Ravens’ leading tackler so far in 2016, inside linebacker Zachary Orr’s career has been a great story to date.
Questions arose earlier this year about the depth behind C.J. Mosley, and Orr answered them quickly by seizing his opportunity with stellar play throughout training camp.
His solid play has carried over through the Ravens’ first six games.
“This is something that I’ve always envisioned – my family has always envisioned,” stated Orr following Wednesday’s practice. “It’s just really neat to see everything coming together. All of the hard work pays off. You hear people say all the time, ‘Hard work pays off,’ and it sounds cliché, but it really is true.
“When you put in the work and you have people around you that support you like family, friends, teammates and coaches, it allows you to get the job done,” added Orr. “It’s definitely really nice, and I’m glad, and just have to keep it going.”
Orr, the son of former Washington Redskins tight end Terry Orr, has started all six games this season tallying 50 tackles (36 solo), one interception, two passes defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.
“I think it’s going pretty well,” replied Orr when asked to rate his play through six games. “I was able to come in and do my job. That’s all I’ve been doing so far, doing what the coaches and the organization has expected me to do.
“The exciting thing is I can get a whole lot better. Just watching the film and talking to [linebackers] coach [Don] ‘Wink’ [Martindale] and everything, there are a lot of areas I can improve on, and I’m just striving for that each and every day.”
Orr has excelled in several aspects of the game including pass coverage, which has been a major weakness for the Ravens at the position in recent years. His play has caught the eye of his head coach and opposing offenses.
“That’s a really great point,” said Harbaugh about Orr, who was one of three rookie free agents to make the Ravens roster in 2014. “I told him the other day he’s making a name for himself in this league. Everybody is watching the tape, and they know who [No.] 54 is for the Ravens right now.
“That’s what you hope for guys. He’s really come through.”
Injuries have once again marred the Ravens on both sides of the ball and while Orr points out the challenges of their losses, he isn’t backing down.
“It’s definitely challenging, especially when you’re missing the starters and some of your best playmakers,” remarked Orr. “Everybody has a job to do. You wouldn’t be on this roster if you weren’t capable of getting the job done.
“Each and every day we talk about being one play away. It’s coming true. Guys have to be ready, and guys have to step in. We have the men that can do that.”
With Mosley’s availability for Sunday’s game against the Jets in question, the Ravens are comfortable with Orr at the helm of Dean Pees’ defense.
Now, about that pass rush…
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