According to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, who generally wins the race for posting the NFL’s transaction wire on a daily basis, the Green Bay Packers offered Zach Orr — who previously filled the role of the Baltimore Ravens’ inside linebackers coach — the opportunity to be their defensive coordinator. The job eventually went to Jeff Hafley, who previously held the job of head coach at Boston College.
Orr is an interesting defensive coordinator candidate, as he’s only 31 years old and comes from a playing background. Back in 2016, he was named a Second-Team All-Pro, just weeks before he announced his retirement from the league due to a spine condition. After working as an analyst for the Ravens, who he played for, he quickly rose from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ inside linebackers coach in 2021, his first full-time on-field coaching role, to Baltimore’s defensive coordinator in 2024.
If you’re trying to follow the timeline of events here, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that Orr was requested to interview with the Packers on January 30th. Mike Macdonald, the Ravens’ defensive coordinator, was hired to be the Seattle Seahawks’ head coach the next day. That also happened to be the same day that Hafley agreed to be Green Bay’s coordinator.
So if we’re reading the tea leaves here, assuming Wilson’s report is correct, the Packers probably quickly offered Orr the job after the Ravens’ loss to the Chiefs on January 28th. Then Orr became the leading candidate to replace Macdonald in Baltimore, leading to him turning down Green Bay’s offer. From there, LaFleur pivoted to Hafley.
Who knows if LaFleur or anyone else from the Packers will ever comment on whether Hafley was or wasn’t their first choice of defensive coordinator this offseason. It is somewhat surprising that Orr was allegedly the apple of LaFleur’s eye, though. Orr was only requested to interview for the Packers’ job before taking the Ravens’ offer. For perspective, Baltimore defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson had four outside interviews — with the Packers, Rams, Giants and Titans — which made many believe that he was the “hotter” Ravens defensive coordinator candidate during this coaching carousel.