With the commencement of the Detroit Lions training camp, a hot offseason story could be coming to an end. Former Baltimore Raven All-Pro linebacker, Zach Orr, decided to come out of retirement about a month ago and the Lions were his first official visit. The possibility of adding a backer of his talent excited many.
A rare spinal condition forced the 25-year old backer to retire earlier this year but after multiple second opinions, he felt confident enough to give the NFL another shot.
There were mixed reviews with team’s medical evaluations. The Lions were reportedly one of the few clubs that felt comfortable with their physical examination.
Zach Orr's visit w/ Lions continues Fri. Blood work in AM. Docs "pleased with everything so far, overtly positive," agent Rob Sheets texts.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 30, 2017
Important to note, the source of positive news was none other than Orr’s agent. His opinion will obviously favor what makes him and his client the most money.
Head coach Jim Caldwell was asked about his opinion on signing Orr. In typical Caldwell fashion, he gave a generic response and didn’t give anything of real value.
Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press:
“I don’t think you never say never in situations because you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Caldwell said. “What’s going to happen with your team, injuries and those kinds of things, you just don’t say it. But I’m focused in on who we have here. We think we have a really good core here and we’re looking forward to getting those guys out on the field.”
Reading into the ambiguous tone of Caldwell, the possibility of the Lions adding Orr to a weak LB unit seems unpromising. There is not a lot of incentive to go in-depth on the subject for Caldwell, but the “never say never” phrase is not a reassuring one.
When asked about how he felt about Orr on the field, Caldwell was a little more transparent.
“Obviously, you know he has talent, we know that. And certainly he’s proven that in this league. We took a look at him like we do a lot of guys. We bring them in, we work them out, we do all our due diligence and we just kind of go from there. At this point in time, obviously, we’re focused in on the guys that we have here.”
Unfortunately for Orr, talent has never been the question. Based on the dwindling interest around the league, the initial rumors of good health may have been overblown. Or, no team wants to be the one that could potentially severely injure a human while knowing the risks that he comes with.
Caldwell did not rule out Orr coming to Detroit, it just sounds like he is content with the cast of LBs that the Lions are currently fielding. Honestly, what else would you expect him to say?