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Stability; Something that Davon house can Bring to the Packers

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Stability; Something that Davon house can Bring to the Packers

No one is expecting Davon House to come to Green Bay and be the savior Joe Whitt Jr. and his group of cornerbacks need. Just like no one is expecting Micah Hyde to go to Buffalo and lead the league in interceptions in 2017.

Okay, well, let's not hold our breath with the latter just yet.

House, now returning to the team that drafted him in 2011, provides the lackluster group of defensive backs that make up Whitt's unit with both experience and familiarity. A common outside belief is that defensive coordinator Dom Capers' scheme is too "advanced," which would explain why it younger corners have a much more difficult time grasping the concept. 

Centered around zone coverage, Capers once had the likes of Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields manning down the boundaries. Oh, don't forget 2016 interception leader Casey Hayward, who now resides in San Diego.

An upside to the return of House, who will be three years older by the time he plays a 2017 regular season than he was when he left Green Bay, is that Capers can implement more man-to-man coverage into his defensive game plan to fit the seven-year veteran. A scheme that House openly admitted to having success in.

"It was frustrating," House said last week earlier this week to Packers.com. "But there was nothing I could do about it. The defensive coaches played a lot more zone. As you know, I'm a bump-and-run corner.

"Press man-to-man, that's what I do."

If the Packers are lucky, they'll get every ounce of compatibility out of House, much like the Jaguars did in 2015 during the last half of the season. He recorded more than two times his career interception total at the time, which was two. He also set the team record for most passes defensed in a season with 23.

House would re-supply a group with two soon-to-be third-year corners in Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall, both looking to bounce back from a season in which neither remained healthy for the full 16-game duration. For Randall, even after a campaign that left much to be desired from the 2015 first-round pick, he finished tied for second on the team in interceptions.

While some struggles may be attributed to the injuries sustained to both of the young defensive backs, week after week the Packers found Randall playing at least five yards off of his assignment. It's unclear whether the trend was a side-effect to Capers' complicated plans or if a sophomore slump set in on Randall. Combined, both Rollins and Randall missed nine regular season games in 2016.

There's also still hope in Ladarius Gunter, the undrafted free agent signed to the team in 2015 who finally got his opportunity to shine last season. His chance in the limelight wasn't because of his supreme coverage ability, however. It took a week one injury to Sam Shields - once the oldest corner on the team before his release - and an overall battered group of cornerbacks for Gunter to see the field. He didn't record an interception, but in almost every match-up, the receiver opposite him was the best on the field. It's a testament to both Gunter's inconsistency as well as his potential, and the Packers may rely heavily on him for depth this upcoming season.

For what it's worth, Gunter averaged more pass break-ups (0.74) per game in 2016 than All-Pro cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Chris Harris Jr.

House offers stability to this group, who will likely be seeing one or two new additions via the upcoming NFL Draft. Stability; a concept that was foreign to the Packers defensively last season.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (39) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

L's picture

I'm kind of hoping that J.Hawkins becomes a dark horse contributor going forward. And that Safeties Brice and Evans take big steps forwards too. Those three guys have some solid athleticism, so hopefully the experience and an off-season to refine their skills allow them to be real contributors.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

I love J-Hawk. I predicted him making the 53-man roster back in June or July of last year, and even though he didn't see much action, I really like his upside. A lot of similar measurables to Sam Shields.

dobber's picture

After the mishap against Detroit, how many defensive snaps did he see the rest of the way? It didn't make any sense to me when they were struggling to find anyone who could cover later in the year...

MITM's picture

I would imagine Gunter averaged more pass breakups only because he was thrown at waaaaay more often.

EdsLaces's picture

I like Gunter and House outside and Randall in the slot. Rollins is ....well terrible. He's terrible now and he will be terrible in a few years. His pics his rookie year were total luck if you watch the plays break down. Brice is gonna be our new Safety with Morgan playing more if a LB role than he ever has.

MITM's picture

If Randall is COMPLETELY healthy where he feels confident to not have to line up 15 yards off I would prefer him outside and Gunter in the slot. I think.

DesertPackFan's picture

I think House and Randall start outside and Rollins plays nickel. Gunter is not starting NFL CB material IMO. Good backup who can only play outside.

OrganLeroy's picture

Gunter runs a 4.7 40, playing him outside is crazy!

dobber's picture

There are a lot of good CB that can't run a sub-4.6 40, but they play faster than they time and they play smarter than a lot of fast CBs.

DesertPackFan's picture

Too bad Gunter isn't one of them. He's a decent backup, but he's not NFL starting CB material.

stockholder's picture

You really don't know TT. I say House is a insurance policy. TT will draft 2 for the secondary. ( 1 and 2.) He then trades House like he did McCray. As usual your comment was full of s**t.

DesertPackFan's picture

2 words... clue less

3 words... get on meds!

MITM's picture

What about Herb Waters? Any Miami fans in here with intel on him? I know he is a converted receiver like Sam Shields was, and the fact that he's 6'2 intrigues me. Shields I believe switched to DB his final season in college where Waters from what I can find made the switch in the NFL.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

I saw a video of him working out with Patrick Peterson on Twitter about a month ago, and man, his feet were INSANELY fast.

OrganLeroy's picture

As I recall Waters also runs in the 4.3's.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

4.5 at his pro day, but he's way faster than that. Speed and height like his is a dangerous combo at corner, just need to hone in on every other facet of the position. Last time the Packers had a cornerback named Herb that wore No. 26, it worked out pretty well.

Bert's picture

Hey!! A shout out for Herb Adderly. Great Packer for sure. That was a heckuva secondary with Adderly, B. Jeter, Wood etc.

Since '61's picture

I watched all of those guys play along with the rest of Lombardi's Packers. Adderly and Wood are in the HOF, along with another 9 of their teammates. Regrettably our current DBs are a long way from having an Adderly or a Wood, just as the rest of the current Packers, except for Aaron Rodgers, are a long way from the Lombardi Packers. However, another pass rusher, DL and CB for the defense may be enough to win it all in 2017. In this era of the NFL it's one season at a time. The era of the NFL dynasty has been gone (for better or worse) since free agency began. Thanks, Since '61

DesertPackFan's picture

MITM... Do you mean this Herb Waters from the Packers website?

26 Waters, Herb CB 6-0 188 24 1 Miami

I think he's the same one who wasn't at the combine and was listed on his pro day at 5' 11.6 and ran a 4.51 40.

Lets not exaggerate things too much. Instead of being the 6'2 you were thinking he's actually a shade under 6'. He has good leg explosion and did well in the shuttle and 3 cone tho. Some tools to work with.

MITM's picture

A quick Google search of his name turned up a few results listing him at 6'2, even his bio from the Hurricanes website. I didn't look any further into into it than that hence me asking for intel which you provided.

DesertPackFan's picture

The combine and pro days are for reliable info. The teams often portray players to be bigger or smaller, generally bigger to make the players look better. The combine and pro days are for teams to get Reliable info on players.

UmpireMark's picture

House didn't play his first year here and wasn't on the roster the first 6 games his 2nd year. He had 2 interceptions in Green Bay and was mostly a force on special teams.

He had a decent 2015 with 4 interceptions in JAX but fell off the radar last year. He notes scheme as his downfall.

I'm in the camp that says, he's an ample body in the d-backfield but not our answer in solving for a shut down corner. I'm also in the camp that hopes we can correct our coverage woes.

DesertPackFan's picture

I don't think anyone is expecting House to be a shutdown CB, which I agree is what the Packers need. But he is depth and his strong suit is press man coverage, which is what the Packers primarily play.

He only played 2 games as a rookie due to being injured IIRC. He was on course to start in yr 2 but was injured again in the 1st preseason game. He did start 14 games in GB before moving on to Jax.

If allowed to play press man he should be a decent to good starter. He played well in Jax his 1st yr, then the coaches changed to a zone scheme during the season. Leave it to Jax to screw up what could have been a good combo w/ him and Jalen Ramsey. You don't change coverage schemes mid season after practicing all off season and training camp.

TommyG's picture

Im not sure where this sudden "house is the fix" craze came from. My only memories of his time in GB are from his very good special teams play. While he is no doubt faster than Gunter, I do not feel that his skill will be a marked improvement for our CB corps. Additionally, we still have no depth at that position. A single injury and that squad is once again decimated.

DesertPackFan's picture

Zac, Zac, Zac...

The Packers under Capers have been a man coverage team, and usually press man. Capers scheme a Looong time ago, when he was in Pitts used to be zone based, primarily due to the zone blitz he and Le Beau created.

The zone blitz from the 80's or 90's, I'm not sure anymore, was named after the unique way they used to fairly regularly, blitz a LB or DB while at the same time dropping a DL into zone coverage... Hence the term "Zone Blitz".

The Packers don't regularly, should say rarely do any of this. The most memorable instance of the Packers doing that play was when Raji dropped into coverage vs the bears in the NFCCG in the '10 playoffs, and had his famous Pick 6.

So just to fill you in... The Packers under Capers are primarily a man coverage team. They might play some mix/hybrid coverages and occasionally zone in some circumstances. But they don't often play straight zone.

That is why they drafted House originally and have re-signed him again. He is by far best suited to play press man, which is the Packers main coverage scheme. And has been since Capers joined McCarthy's staff.

Press man was what Al Harris, Woodson, Tramon Williams and Shields excelled at. Shields and to a lesser extent Tramon, didn't often actually press, but did line up at the LOS, they just didn't engage and preferred to turned to run w/ outside WR. Harris, Woodson (who could play any scheme) and House really did engage the WR and try to get them off their routes alot.

stockholder's picture

I'm going to tell you flat out. House is not the answer. Rollins is not the answer. Flat out I know you guys like Watt. Yes, Watt will be good. But if you want to get to the super-bowl. They better draft two guys for the secondary. TT can find everything else later. Draft the secondary!

MarkinMadison's picture

I was hoping for an impact FA on defense. So far that has not come to pass.

Gilmore would have been a good fit at CB but he ends up with the Patriots. Go figure.

House fits nicely but no one sees him as a shutdown corner. He may or may not be a legit starter.

On the bright side though, Rollins is still very raw and could get better. Randall didn't suck when he was healthy. This group could still come together. A little help in the form of a legitimate pass rusher to go opposite Perry would help a lot. Hopefully TT can find one in the draft.

TommyG's picture

There seems to be no shortage of interest for offense. I am wondering if defensive play makers just don't want to play in GB.

zeke's picture

I think that playmakers - offence, defence, and special teams - will play for whomever pays the most money. Playing "for the love of the game" was a lot easier before free agency when players had no options. I know Reggie said he came to GB because god told him to, but I don't think it was a coincidence that the Packers also happened to be offering the most money (and I don't think there's anything wrong with that, FTR).

porupack's picture

Agree with MinMadison....one high quality FA Vet would make that secondary into an excellent one, because the assignments to # 1, #2, #3 receivers all get bumped to the next best CB on packers unit. Randall, Rollins, Gunter, House are all more than adequate for opposing #2 and #3 receivers. If we get a first rounder CB, who can get on the field in the early part of the season, we probably have a strong unit. But a vet coming in would have allowed capers to draft 2 high picks toward pass rushers.
We need 2 pass rushers from the draft able to contribute by mid season at latest.

croatpackfan's picture

All of you asking for FA shutdown corner still do not have the name. Who is that guy. Not who "might be if..." but who is shutdown corner, available at decent money and trully upgrade. Give us name. Because as much as I'm searching through net I can not find shutdown corner available for immediate signing. Also, I did not hear any NFL team is willing to trade their shutdown corners for 6th or 7th round pick...
So, please, can you give us the name of that CB:

TommyG's picture

Not shutdown but certainly a tier or two above house et al:

Leon hall
Darryl Morris
Brandon flowers.

Lphill's picture

When House started in 2015 he had 23 pass break ups and 4 interceptions , that's pretty solid.

egbertsouse's picture

Ted should get some pass rush. A great pass rush can make an average secondary look good, as shown by the '85 Bears and the '15 Broncos. That being said, I realize that we have a long way to go to get the secondary up to "average."

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Good points.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Draft a pass rusher. 1st year CB's rarely do anything but struggle.

But hey, BPA is the key. If a Top-20 CB falls to us, take him. I just question whether that will happen. I prefer getting a good CB in Rounds 2 or 3, and getting a blazing pass rush guy in Round 1.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Draft a pass rusher. 1st year CB's rarely do anything but struggle.

But hey, BPA is the key. If a Top-20 CB falls to us, take him. I just question whether that will happen. I prefer getting a good CB in Rounds 2 or 3, and getting a blazing pass rush guy in Round 1.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Draft a pass rusher. 1st year CB's rarely do anything but struggle.

But hey, BPA is the key. If a Top-20 CB falls to us, take him. I just question whether that will happen. I prefer getting a good CB in Rounds 2 or 3, and getting a blazing pass rush guy in Round 1.

Grimbo's picture

I'm REALLY glad he's coming back! He was good when he was here. Sorry when he left. He would have started for the pack the last two years if the pack had not let him go. GREAT to get him back. He may not be quite the shutdown corner we could really use, but he immediately becomes our number one corner. If we can draft one real good one, I think we will be ok. I see Gunter as a young Al Harris. Hoping our #1 and #2 picks from 2 years ago can rebound in 2017. If not, we go with Gunter and House in the outside. I have no idea who in the slot. Maybe a new number 1 pick?

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