There was no disputing that the Ravens’ top three cornerbacks last season were starters Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams and top backup Jimmy Smith. The first cornerback off the bench after that trio was Danny Gorrer.
Whether that scenario plays out this year is up in the air. Webb, Williams and Smith are back, but Corey Graham, a Pro Bowler for his prowess on special teams, was signed to a free-agent deal in March. A month later, the organization selected Asa Jackson in the fifth round of the NFL draft.
Gorrer is aware of the team’s personnel moves, but said he can’t get caught up in any hidden messages behind the moves.
“I can only control the things that I can control,” he said after Monday’s practice at the team’s headquarters in Owings Mills. “I can’t worry about who they bring in or who they want. At the end of the day, it’s a business. Yes, I want to be here. Will I be here? Who knows? When the time comes, we’ll cross that bridge, but right now, I’m preparing to be with the Baltimore Ravens.”
It was Graham, not Gorrer, who was the third cornerback in Thursday night’s 31-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason opener for both squads. Graham tied inside linebacker Ricky Brown for the team lead in tackles with five that night and also added a sack. Meanwhile, Gorrer finished with two tackles.
So is Gorrer taking Graham’s presence as a personal challenge?
“I don’t take it as a challenge,” Gorrer said. “I just take it as [an opportunity] to get better every day and work on my technique. We’re all a tight group and however the chips may fall, that’s where they’re going to fall.”
Gorrer saw time last season when opposing offenses went to a four-receiver set or when Webb, Williams or Smith needed to catch his breath. Gorrer registered three tackles and four pass breakups in 11 contests.
Coach John Harbaugh said Gorrer’s play from last season hasn’t dropped off this summer.
“You know, we’ve seen the same thing from Danny that we’ve seen, I’d say, through last season and then through this training camp – consistency,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a very good technician cornerback, plus he can run. When Danny is focused and he plays great technique, he is hard to beat, and that’s what we’ve seen pretty much throughout the whole camp.”
Gorrer said his familiarity with the defense’s lightning-quick ability to switch between man-to-man and zone defenses is a benefit, but he also noted that Graham is a six-year veteran who can adapt.
“With the things that he brings to the table, he’ll be in the mix regardless, and I know that,” Gorrer said. “But like I said, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.”