Chris McCosky / / The Detroit News
Beverly Hills — There was an old, familiar face at the Lions’ voluntary workout Wednesday.
Former Lion Dre Bly became the first cornerback to join the mini-camp, even though he is currently without a team.
“I am just trying to stay ready, just in case,” said Bly, who still resides in the area. “With the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) going on, you never know what’s going to happen. I’m just going to stay ready.”
Bly, a two-time Pro Bowler who will turn 34 on Sunday, did not play last season after being cut by the Lions on Sept. 4. He had been with the Lions from 2003-06 and was brought back to mentor a young secondary last summer.
Just as Bly appeared to have won the nickel back role, general manager Martin Mayhew had the opportunity to acquire a younger cornerback, Alphonso Smith, from Denver. Thus, Bly was released.
“I was out of town when I got released,” Bly said. “I went to the LSU-North Carolina game in Atlanta and I got a call from a scout, and then I talked to Martin. I never came back in to talk to the coaches. Usually you do that after you are released, but I was a little disappointed because I felt like it was the perfect situation for me.
“Being an older guy, a vet, I understood where I was at this stage of my career and I thought I’d be a good fit. I was excited to be back. So it was disappointing, but I understand that it’s a business. They went young. That’s what happened.”
Bly got a few calls after he was released and he worked out for the Giants, but nothing came of it.
“I miss the game because I still feel I can play,” said Bly, who hopes to get some offers once the lockout is settled. “Being out a full year is going to make it hard, but still, I didn’t take that pounding and I’ve been relatively healthy. I still feel I can play.”
The Lions, who had 31 players at the session Wednesday, will conclude the workouts Thursday.