Lions coach Jim Caldwell gets familiar cornerback
Allen Park — Danny Gorrer didn't have a clue he'd be in Detroit on Wednesday.
The Lions needed to fill a spot after rookie Nevin Lawson's season-ending injury in Week 2 put them down another cornerback, following the loss of Bill Bentley in Week 1.
Gorrer hadn't played in the first two games, so when he got the call from Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, it was a bit of a surprise.
"I was on my way to Miami when coach Teryl called and said this is a good fit," Gorrer said Wednesday. "It was a no-brainer for me. I took the opportunity and I'm running with it now and ready to compete."
Gorrer, 28, will be on a quick learning curve as the Lions are preparing for one of the most potent passing attacks in the NFL: the Packers.
"You're probably not going to get Aaron Rodgers every week, but you're going to get an NFL quarterback every week," Gorrer said. "You come to work, learn the defense and next man up."
Gorrer, with five years in the league, played the last two seasons with the Buccaneers and Seahawks. He started 11 games in 2011 with the Ravens and was on the Colts practice squad in 2010, where he caught Lions coach Jim Caldwell's attention.
Caldwell has noted the difficulty in filling voids in the roster because of the limited practice time between games. But Gorrer's familiarity with the Lions defense likely was one of the reasons he was signed over some other free agents.
"With me knowing it a little bit already, I'm getting back into the groove of things and learning the words they use here and however quickly I learn it, that's when I'll start playing," Gorrer said.
Said Caldwell: "He's a guy who has speed and quickness and has been around the league a little bit; we had him in Indianapolis and Baltimore. ... Athletically, he's one of those guys who is quick and he's versatile and can play inside and out, and he'll tackle well."
Gorrer, listed at 6 feet and 180 pounds, donned a No. 36 jersey in practice Wednesday, and already made an impression on cornerback Darius Slay, who saw Gorrer's comfort level with the defensive scheme almost immediately.
"He fit right in; we did a little walk-through and he blended right in," Slay said. "Our defense isn't that complicated; it's just a real hard-nosed, get-in-your-face defense."
Cassius Vaughn entered the Panthers game last week and played fairly well, but having the depth will help against the Packers, who boast a bevy of dangerous receivers, including Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jeff Janis.
Including Gorrer, the Lions have four cornerbacks on the roster (Slay, Vaughn and Rashean Mathis).
Gorrer, however, could play either outside cornerback or nickel, depending on the situation.
"He's capable of doing both; it just depends on our need, but he's flexible enough," Caldwell said. "He's a unique guy with speed and ability."