Packers Annual Checkup: Davon House
FEB 25, 2014 5:20p ET
FOX Sports Wisconsin's Paul Imig gives an in-depth statistical analysis and film study of every Packers player in his annual offseason checkup. Check every weekday through mid-April for his latest report.
Davon House, cornerback
Season stats: 17 games (533 snaps; 53.1 percent), 44 tackles, five missed tackles, zero tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, zero forced fumbles, 10 passes defensed, four stops (solo tackles that resulted in offensive failure); targeted 67 times in coverage, allowing 35 receptions for 480 yards, five touchdowns
ProFootballFocus.com season rating: minus-2.0 (ranked No. 13 out of 26 Packers defensive players; ranked last among Packers cornerbacks)
Best game: Week 7 win vs. Cleveland (played 59 of 73 snaps; one interception, three passes defensed, three tackles, zero missed tackles, zero stops; targeted eight times in coverage, allowing three receptions for 40 yards; 3.7 PFF rating)
Worst game: Week 13 loss at Detroit (played 67 of 83 snaps; zero interceptions, one pass defensed, eight tackles, one missed tackle, one stop; targeted seven times in coverage, allowing six receptions for 73 yards, two touchdowns; minus-1.9 PFF rating)
Expectations at the start of the season: Medium
Expectations were ... Not met
Looking live: Davon House's 2013 offseason began with undergoing left shoulder surgery. That forced him to sit out during the Packers' minicamp practices and organized team activities in spring. But, by the time a collection of players gathered for a mid-June softball game, House was out there crushing home runs. Soon after, he passed his physical and was medically cleared to take part in training camp. However, when practices began, House wasn't on the field. He later revealed that he had food poisoning, which kept him out of action for three days. No longer dealing with the illness, it didn't take House long to make his presence felt. On Day 5, he was recognized in the "Movin' On Up" category of the Training Camp Report series for the two impressive plays that he made in practice, both which displayed strength by knocking the ball out of a receiver's hands just as a catch was about to be made. Midway through training camp, with Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward out, House was a starting outside cornerback. But after a poor preseason opener by House and a solid performance by rookie Micah Hyde, those two flip-flopped on the depth chart. Hyde remained ahead of him the rest of the way, with House certainly not helping himself when he qualified for the "So You Had a Bad Day" category of the Training Camp Report series on Aug. 14.
Upon further review: This was not what House was looking to do in his third NFL season, taking a slight back step in his development. "If you think I did good last year (in 2012), then you have a whole other thing coming," House said before the start of the 2013 training camp. He was healthy this season, too, unlike a year earlier when he was playing with a harness on his injured shoulder. There were several games in the first half of the season in which House was used a lot (93 percent of snaps in Week 5, 81 percent of snaps in Week 7), but the results were mixed. Looking at the job he did in coverage against Cleveland, he backed up his confident words about making major improvements. When House plays like that, he should be a starting cornerback in the NFL. The problem for him is that it wasn't consistent throughout the entire season. By the final quarter of the season, House had almost been completely taken out of the defensive rotation. The Packers wouldn't use the word "demotion," but that's basically what it was. "I'm trying to make sure we put the right people out there to win games," cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said Dec. 13. "If you perform better, that gives you a better opportunity to be out there." One thing that hurt House's chances to be on the field is that he can really only play outside and isn't nearly as capable in the slot. "I think it probably serves him best to be outside, because he can, when he does it the right way, take a receiver away," Whitt said at the end of the season. "He will be somebody I would prefer to have outside right now." For as talented as House is, it seemed like his confidence waned too often.
Overall 2013 grade: C-plus
Status for 2014: Ninety-five percent chance of being on the Packers' active roster to begin the 2014 regular season. Only 24 years old, House can still be a really good player. But, as mentioned, his position coach doesn't see him playing inside, which limits the opportunities for House to get on the field. And, if Green Bay re-signs unrestricted free agent Sam Shields and keeps Williams around for the final year of his contract, House is already behind those two. Then, add in a returning-from-injury Hayward, who the Packers think can thrive on the outside, and that could push House to No. 4 on the depth chart at outside cornerback. Making the team in 2014 isn't much of a question for House, as he's helped his case by becoming a good special teams player. But what percent of defensive snaps next season will he get if he's behind Shields, Williams and Hayward? If those three stay healthy (again, also under the assumption that Shields is brought back and Williams is kept), House could see very limited action. His time to become a starting outside cornerback in Green Bay is running out, if it hasn't already.
Next: Cornerback Micah Hyde
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