In a shocking turn of events, Ravens linebacker Zach Orr announced his retirement at a press conference at 1 Winning Drive today. RSR Staff react to the news here.
Ravens LB Zach Orr will retire from the NFL. Neck injury wk 16 vs. Pitt leaves him at too great a risk for further contact. pic.twitter.com/26czqV8ltV
— Pete Gilbert (@WBALPete) January 20, 2017
At this time last season most observers wondered who would step in to play beside C.J. Mosley given the departure of Daryl Smith. Zach Orr seized the opportunity, worked hard to refine his craft and however fleeting, it appeared as if he might be a rising star, ascending from the ashes of UDFA status. The announcement of his retirement is a sad day for him and the Ravens.
And once again the question about Mosley’s sidekick is back in play.
Hopefully Zach can redirect his passion and ambition into something that is rewarding for him and his family. Cream rises to the top and I have no doubt Zach will do exactly that in whatever field he chooses to pursue.
Here’s to your health and your future Zach and thank you for your contributions to the Baltimore Ravens. You will be missed.
The retirement of Orr is a blow to the Ravens defense after the year he had for Dean Pees. Considering he just beat out Arthur Brown this past Summer, count me as one that will wait to call it a devastating loss.
More alarming to me is if the reports are true the Ravens tried to talk him out of it after a serious neck injury. That’s not a good look for the organization. Fortunately, Zach denied these reports.
Orr said the reports that Ravens tried to talk him out of retirement are "110 percent false. They've supported me through this."
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) January 20, 2017
First off, deepest sympathies to Orr on this terrible news. From a UDFA to develop into a starter is truly impressive. Nothing but the best to him.
From a player personnel perspective, this opens another hole. Orr was a fantastic tackler, but was very questionable in pass coverage. C.J. Mosley has developed in his pass coverage, but given the nature of today’s passing game and the type of LB coverage that Dean Pees uses, we need another ILB that can play the pass well. I think this opens the opportunity to seek that out. However, we now have glaring holes at CB, OLB and ILB. That becomes even worse if Ricky Wagner watches.
I would have liked to have Orr back next year given the other bigger holes, as I don’t trust Kamalei Correa (wish they’d move him back to OLB exclusively) or Peanut Onwuasor to fill the gap. But, hopefully this opens up an opportunity to get a coverage ILB beside Mosley.
Stunning news to be sure. Orr was among the league leaders in tackles and brought the sideline-to-sideline coverage in the run game that the team sorely lacked the year before. Although he struggled down the stretch, especially in coverage, Orr had a breakout campaign and was a tremendous complement to C.J. Mosley. Now where do the Ravens turn? Could this open the door again for Kamalei Correa, who showed zero instincts for the weakside position in the first place? It’s a tough hit for a run defense that is already poised to lose Brandon Williams in free agency.
Sad news for a player who seemed destined to be the Ravens’ next undrafted star. Orr went from a special teams contributor to their leading tackler last season.
Aside from the fact that this is disappointing, inside linebacker now becomes a position of need for the Ravens. There was talk last offseason that Correa was attempting to make the transition inside but it never panned out during the season. Add it to the lengthy list of positions the Ravens will have to address either via free agency or the draft.
As I write this, I don’t know the circumstances of the injury or his retirement, but this will be a difficult spot for the Ravens to fill.
Orr played 92.1% of the Ravens defensive snaps in 2016, highest of any front-7 defender and 3rd on the team behind only Webb and Weddle. As a tackler, he was a key component of the defense that allowed just 3.7 YPC, the Ravens 21st consecutive season allowing less than 4 yards per carry. He may have been miscast in a 3-down role where he was a frequent target in the passing game, but reminded me of Jamie Sharper in terms of his contributions. That’s a valuable player under any circumstances, but a huge accomplishment for a 3rd-year UDFA.
The nature of the injury must be severe to force this difficult decision and I hope he will walk away from the game to success at whatever he decides to do next. You’ll be missed, Zachary.
First and foremost, my condolences to Zach Orr and his family for having to face this adversity; however, the serendipitous series of events that led to discovering his spinal column disorder is nothing shy of a true blessing and I’m elated that doctors were able to make this discovery before the issues compounded themselves.
As for the Ravens, yet another hole to be filled at ILB. Correa is not the answer here, and I believe they know that already. Time to take a peek into the free agent pool to see what’s floating about, if anything. Regardless, the pot-o-money to holes-to-fill ratio looks rather uninspiring for a team looking to return to post season play in 2017/18.