Former Ravens linebacker Zach Orr has officially begun the first phase of his post-playing career.
The organization announced Wednesday that the 25-year-old will join the coaching and personnel staffs this season to prepare him for a potential career in either. Orr will shadow linebackers coach Wink Martindale and attend special-teams meetings during the season before shifting to the scouting and player evaluation side of the organization.
It’s a similar path to the one taken by Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome at the conclusion of his 13-year Hall of Fame career with the Cleveland Browns. Owner Art Modell gave Newsome the opportunity to gain experience in both coaching and personnel before he ultimately remained in the latter and becoming a two-time Super Bowl champion as a general manager.
“He’ll spend time learning about coaching at this level, and he’ll learn the ropes with our scouts,” Newsome told the team’s official website. “We look forward to working with him as he makes the transition from being an active player.”
Orr announced his retirement in January after doctors discovered a congenital spine condition that put him at greater risk for paralysis or death by playing football. He had announced hopes of a comeback in late June after receiving a favorable second opinion, but 17 teams would not clear him to play, leading him to reconfirm his retirement earlier this month.
The former undrafted free agent from North Texas visited the team facility in Owings Mills last week to discuss his new role with Newsome as well as to visit with former teammates and coaches.
“I sure would like to have him on board — scouting or coaching — whatever he wants to do if he wants to do it,” head coach John Harbaugh said earlier this month. “He has expressed an interest in doing that. Good for him. He has peace with the whole thing now I believe. He will get on with the rest of his very successful life.”