In January of 2017, Zach Orr was one of the most disliked players in the NFL by Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Today, he could be the newest member of the team.
After deciding to retire from the NFL in January due to a congenital neck/spine condition, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker, Zach Orr was looked at as one of the biggest losses of the offseason. The talented linebacker was considered one of the brightest young stars in football before his medical situation forced him to leave the game.
Now, Orr has decided to return to the NFL after receiving a second opinion on the injury. So, like ever big name under the age of 30, speculations begin to arise about nearly every team in the NFL reaching out to sign him. The only difference; Pittsburgh should not be looking to add Orr.
Don’t get it wrong, Zach Orr is one of the best players in the league, and he’s only 25-years-old. Whoever does get his hands on him is going to be very lucky. But Pittsburgh isn’t a team in need of Orr.
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Pittsburgh clearly isn’t the best defense in the NFL, but the lone bright spot that seems to continuously improve every season for this team is their linebacking core. Maybe Orr is more proven than Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt, but he certainly isn’t good enough to put them on the sidelines for a player who six months ago had to leave the NFL because of a catastrophic injury.
All Orr does in Pittsburgh is add more risk to the underdevelopment of Dupree and Watt. If he can pass the physical in 2017 and play, that’s great. But until he’s around for a few years and can consistently pass physicals and deal with his spine condition, he’s a liability the Steelers should not be willing to add.
If the Baltimore Ravens get their hands back on Orr, so be it. Let them have him and Pittsburgh will deal with the consequences when they come. That isn’t a reason to go out and sign him, though. If other teams need a linebacker and want to take the risk, good for them, but Pittsburgh certainly doesn’t need to add more linebackers to their already stocked core.
Let the five players competing for playing time get their reps. Focus on developing what they already have instead of adding more to the mix.
Pittsburgh doesn’t need Zach Orr. They need to focus on the linebackers the already have.