The biggest surprise this summer hasn’t been wide receiver Max McCaffrey’s really good play or tackle Jason Spriggs’ really bad play. The biggest surprise is the reverence being shown to cornerback Davon House. From being handed a starting job at the start of training camp to keeping it despite not practicing since Aug. 5, the coaches are treating the seven-year veteran more like an established star than a player signed off the street after being cut by the lowly Jaguars.
It’s almost as if the coaches have forgotten House’s first tour in Green Bay from 2011 to 2014. I realize how deep the team was in quality corners back then, but other than the summer of 2012, the former New Mexico State star never really pushed for a significant role on defense. That’s because House never performed well enough in camp to merit one, and it’s why no serious effort was made by general manager Ted Thompson to re-sign him before he left for Jacksonville in free agency in 2015.
And while sitting behind Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Casey Hayward is certainly no crime, it’s also not something that stands out on a resume. Neither is getting benched and then released by one of the worst teams in the NFL – even if you buy the excuse that he wasn’t a good fit for the Jags’ new defensive scheme.
Look, I was probably the first person to suggest bringing back House. That said, I was expecting him to provide veteran depth at the position and perhaps compete for a starting job if Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins didn’t bounce back from poor sophomore seasons. I never expected him to be anointed the top spot on the depth chart pretty much the minute he agreed to a 1-year contract worth $2.8 million in March.
There’s a good chance House will open the season as a starter despite not playing a single snap in an exhibition game. And to be honest, not playing a single snap in an exhibition game might be why there’s a good chance House will open the season as a starter. After all, you can’t give up completions from the sideline.
Maybe House truly is one of the top two corners on the roster and would’ve legitimately won a starting job this summer, but we don’t know that because he only practiced in pads a few times before injuring a hamstring at the Family Night scrimmage. The fact he’s still sitting atop the depth chart three weeks later suggests a couple of things. One, the other corners haven’t really stepped up. And two, the defensive coaches still have amnesia when it comes to who House really is. They’re likely to start remembering in 17 days.