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House Will Get a Third Crack at Falcons' Jones

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House Will Get a Third Crack at Falcons' Jones

Davon House will get another crack at Julio Jones, and this time it'll be as a returning member of the Packers' secondary.

He first stepped in against the Falcons' athletic marvel of a wide receiver in 2014 -- a week 14 Monday Night Football meeting against Atlanta -- and held up well in place of Sam Shields, who previously struggled.

Jones was already en route to an 11-catch, 259-yard performance against a defense that helped guide the Packers to the NFC Championship over a month later.

While House saw the last 21 snaps of the game against Jones before the Falcons' star target left the game with an injury -- or else his numbers would've been even more astounding at the rate he was going -- it was House who helped limit Jones' production.

House would only play two more games for the Packers that season: their two playoff games against the Cowboys and Seahawks. His regular season was over after week 14 due to a shoulder injury.

A year later after House had signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a four-year deal worth $6.25 million, House and Jones met on opposing sides of the field once more.

Davon House (31) defending Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24). (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

In the midst of House breaking the Jaguars team record for pass breakups in a season, Jones toasted House for 118 yards on nine catches and a touchdown. It was one of the more unconvincing performances of the year for the House, despite him tallying four interceptions through the last eight games of the season.

Now, back in Green Bay for 2017, House is aiming to provide alleviation to a group that gets to see both Jones this week and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in November -- two players who are widely considered to be the best at their craft.

It's a different situation this time around, too. House isn't the third or fourth-best corner on the Packers' roster; he's the best they have to offer at the moment. And that's not a bad thing.

Behind Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward and Shields in 2014, House didn't see as many reps as the starting trio did, but for the little action he saw through the course of the regular season, he made the most of his opportunities. He did the same thing in Jacksonville before the Jaguars' scheme shifted into more of a zone-oriented one rather than press-man that House once thrived in.

It's what defensive coordinator Dom Capers employs on defense to better suit House's skill set. As House even said himself, he excels in bump-and-run, even against the likes of Jones, who House made a crucial pass breakup against in the end zone during that 2014 meeting.

Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. won't hang his hat on that game three years ago, though, no matter how good House performed in his limited snaps.

"That was a long time ago," Whitt said. "It's irrelevant, so we shouldn't even talk about it. That's 2014, that was a different team, that was a different season. I'm worried about the 2017 season."

Wherever House lines up come Sunday night, 2015 draft picks Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins will likely be his supporting cast both on the opposite sideline and alternating in the slot.

The beauty of Whitt's group is each cornerback's individual ability to line up in various positions to play a multitude of roles. It's even more helpful now that the Packers released LaDarius Gunter, the last of the team's cornerbacks to go up against Jones in January's NFC title game.

That's one player Capers won't have to worry about deploying against Jones this time around.

"Those guys have the ability to do both [playing outside and slot], how we see fit to deploy the man each week, you'll see on gameday. But, they have the ability to do both. We're going to have different matches throughout the year, so however Dom [Capers] sees fit to deploy them, that's how we'll get it done."

The versatility -- wherever it may be implemented -- makes up for the numbers, which may very well see the Packers entering the Mercedes-Benz Stadium with one less cornerback than they did last week against the Seahawks. That is, if they choose to have both undrafted prospects Josh Hawkins and Lenzy Pipkins be two of the seven game inactives.

House will lead a young, unbridled group into Atlanta as the second-oldest player in the Packers' secondary. A high-powered Falcons offense isn't an easy beast to tame, but House being back on the side he began his career with is certainly a step in the right direction.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Brandon Fisher's picture

Aka start Jones in fantasy this week

L's picture

Off-topic, but I just saw that C.Ringo was signed to the Detroit Lions Practice Squad. WTF Packers!? Why didn't we sign him to our Practice Squad over Izaah Lunsford? I can't imagine Ringo would have refused given his experience in the system here and the fact that the Packers recently released veteran RJF. Seriously annoyed when the front office isn't making smart personnel moves like that one. Just saying, if anyone gets dinged up on the D-line I sure as hell would feel a lot more comfortable knowing we had C.Ringo who could be promoted from the Practice Squad than I.Lunsford.

RCPackerFan's picture

I would prefer Ringo to, but maybe after getting cut he wants to move on? We truly have no idea what happens in those conversations.

I don't blame Ringo if he didn't want to come back.

L's picture

True. I just hope the Packers made the attempt. And I would have hoped that Ringo was bigger than that. It's a business and he should have been approaching it the same way in that the Packers would have afforded him the best opportunity given his experience here and knowledge of the system. Plus, with the team carrying only 4 healthy D-linemen (I assume M.Daniels is good to go) since M.Adams still in the recovery process he probably would have had a decent chance of being promoted back onto the 53 if anyone was unable to suit up for a game.

David Boden's picture

Unless Ringo is as good as he'll get. Once a player is at max development and still can't crack the 53 it's time to let him go. Why not give that opportunity to someone that has a higher ceiling because their more athletically gifted but much more raw.

Finwiz's picture

Exactly correct. My guess is they moved on with Ringo, and that's the reason he was let go in the 1st place. If he was so valuable, they would have protected him on the 53 or brought him back to the PS when they had a chance. Sometimes players "max out" and don't progress at the rate the team expects. Fackrell is next on that list.

L's picture

He had made it onto the 53, but ended up getting cut in order to add Quinton Dial. The fact he made the 53 indicates that the Packers saw value in him and a desire to protect him.

I can't imagine they wouldn't have wanted to bring him back to the Practice Squad so maybe, as RC pointed out, he didn't want to come back here after feeling slighted by management. I hope that wasn't the case because there's motivational reason for him to return here in that he knows the system and would have essentially of been the immediate go-to guy if anyone got nicked up since they're thin with M.Adams still recovering.

David Boden's picture

Unless Ringo is as good as he'll get. Once a player is at max development and still can't crack the 53 it's time to let him go. Why not give that opportunity to someone that has a higher ceiling because their more athletically gifted but much more raw.

fthisJack's picture

if someone on the DL gets hurt now.....whats stopping the Packers from getting him back on the 53 provided he wants that opportunity which he would be crazy not to.

Oppy's picture

Exactly.

People might not realize that having a player on your Practice squad does not protect him from being offered a job on another team's active 53.

You can not poach a Practice squad player and place him on your practice squad, but you CAN extend an offer to a different team's practice3 squad player to join your active roster.

Handsback's picture

I felt pretty comfortable about Green Bay's DBs until I saw the game last night between the Texans and Bengals. The pass interferrence between Adams of the Bengals and Hopkins of the Texans was happening on every pass play. PI was called occasionally, but could have been called on every play. If they let JJ and House play the same way...I have no idea who will get the upper hand.

Finwiz's picture

I think House will jam JJ at the line, and has the speed to stay with him after, which will be a significant improvement over what we had in the last game.
The question will be if shutting down or limiting JJ will be enough to win.
They have many other weapons including Sanu who killed us last time.
Plus the RB's and can we cover the TE?

Jonathan Spader's picture

Burnett shut doen Jimmy Graham who's a more tallented TE than Hooper. If we can keep that matchup we should be ok. The problem is when our other ILB matches up with the rb coleman. Hooper was the beneficiary of a few blown assignments last week against Chicago. The hard part is containing Jones, Sanu, Freeman, and Coleman. Should be a great game.

fthisJack's picture

key will be the Packers rush getting to Ryan. if they perform like they did against the seahawks, there is no way that Ryan puts up numbers like he did last year and the Packers should win.

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