Zach Orr is figuring things out this offseason. The Ravens’ first-year defensive coordinator is calmer in practice after big plays, he acknowledged Thursday, because he has to be. He’s watching film because he has to be prepared. He’s imagining play-calling scenarios because he has only so much experience overseeing a defense.

As the Ravens retool their well-stocked defense in organized team activities this month, Orr might be their biggest variable. When coach John Harbaugh named him Mike Macdonald’s successor in February, he handed over play-calling duties to a 31-year-old inside linebackers coach with no play-calling record.

It was a promotion with transformative effects. Over his first few weeks of offseason practices, Orr has learned he must be more composed and less excitable.

“I’ve got to calm myself down a little bit,” he joked Thursday. “Now, after a play, I celebrate, [but] now I’ve got to get ready for the next call. I can’t celebrate too hard. Previous years, I was just waiting to hear the call. Now everyone is looking at me, like, ‘What’s the call? What’s the call?’ So I’ve got to keep it mild-toned now. I’m definitely going to express my excitement when the time is right, but I definitely have to be aware of that. Things get moving quick, and you have to be planning ahead.”

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Macdonald was Michigan’s defensive coordinator for a season before returning to Baltimore in 2022. Orr, however, has to learn by doing. Some parts of Ravens practices are scripted, but Orr said Harbaugh also incorporates “call-it” periods, in which play-callers have to “think on the fly” as they consult their play sheet.

“You definitely get more comfortable,” said Orr. “Coach Harbaugh does a great job of putting us in these game-like situations, even as play-callers and as coaches.”

Orr’s first real test is less than four months away, but it’s a big one. The Ravens will open the season on the road against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. If he can’t slow coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the schedule doesn’t allow for much time for introspection. The Ravens are scheduled to face the Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott in Week 3, the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen in Week 4 and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow in Week 5.

“Everybody in this league is good, and if you’re not prepared and you’re not doing things the right way, you’ll lose and get your butt kicked by anybody in this league,” Orr recalled Harbaugh telling him recently. “So you respect the guys. ... We respect the team, the quarterbacks, the coordinators that we’re going to face as a defense, but we honestly believe that if we prepare the right way, we play how we’re supposed to play, it’s not going to really matter who we’re playing or when we’re playing them.”

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Attendance report

Quarterback Lamar Jackson was among a handful of standouts who missed Thursday’s third and final practice of the week.

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Twenty-two Ravens did not participate in the voluntary session, including wide receivers Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman, running back Keaton Mitchell (knee), offensive lineman Patrick Mekari, defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, outside linebackers Odafe Oweh and Kyle Van Noy, cornerbacks Brandon Stephens and Arthur Maulet and safety Marcus Williams.

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey, whose participation was limited Wednesday, left Thursday’s two-hour practice after about an hour of individual work. Tight end Mark Andrews also left practice about a half-hour early. Neither required the help of an athletic trainer.

Stock report

  • Rookie quarterback Devin Leary had an up-and-down day. The sixth-round pick from Kentucky found running back Justice Hill for a pretty touchdown pass on a wheel route and was unafraid to rip passes over the middle to receivers on crossing patterns. But his confidence in his arm strength got him into trouble, too. Undrafted rookie safety Jordan Toles (Morgan State) pulled in an interception after inside linebacker Trenton Simpson got his hand on a layered pass over the middle. Later, Leary barely squeezed a fastball by inside linebacker Roquan Smith, only to watch it strike cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis between the numbers on another pick.
  • Undrafted rookie wide receiver Dayton Wade, whom offensive coordinator Todd Monken called “D-Wade” early in practice, was Thursday’s surprise standout. The 5-foot-9 Wade was a popular target and had the day’s best catch, reaching back with his left hand to bobble and then secure an underthrown deep pass against fellow undrafted rookie cornerback Bump Cooper Jr. In his senior season at Mississippi last year, Wade had 55 catches for 830 yards and four touchdowns.
  • A handful of rotational players had solid days for the defense. Defensive lineman Travis Jones sniffed out a screen at the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Malik Harrison built on his strong Wednesday showing, when he had a leaping interception, with a nice outside-inside pass rush move against undrafted rookie tackle Darrell Simpson and tight coverage against tight end Isaiah Likely to help force an incompletion. And cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis came up with the interception and was sticky in coverage when targeted on several downfield routes.
  • Two rookies also showed some bounce-back ability. Wide receiver Tylan Wallace beat first-round pick Nate Wiggins on a shallow cross early in practice, but the cornerback broke up a pass to Wallace after an in-breaking route near the end of the session. Fourth-round pick and wide receiver Devontez Walker, meanwhile, followed a false-start penalty in a late-game drill with a sliding catch in tight coverage.