Davon House left Green Bay for two years, but his loyalties never strayed too far from the Packers.
Now he can dust off all the green-and-gold gear that he kept stowed away while playing in Jacksonville.
House has returned to Green Bay after two seasons with the Jaguars, one of the reinforcements being brought in to buttress the secondary.
“I mean people might look at me like I’m weird, but I kept all my Packers stuff after I left here,” House said. “Rooted for (the Packers) except when we played (them) in Jacksonville. … I felt like I was a still a Packer deep down inside.”
The last time that House was in Green Bay, he was looking up to older players Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. The Packers drafted House in the fourth round in 2011 out of New Mexico State.
Now House is the veteran who hopes to serve as a mentor to a young cornerback group.
Being able “to pick his brain about the things he knows, the things he sees in the game is beneficial,” said Quinten Rollins, who is entering his third year in the league.
The cornerback position was a problem area last year for the Packers. Shields went down in the season opener at Jacksonville with a concussion and never returned to the field. The most experienced cornerback on the 2016 Packers was cut in the offseason.
Shields’ injury left more responsibilities for younger players. Rollins and Damarious Randall, who were both drafted in 2015, had injury-plagued seasons. LaDarius Gunter, a former undrafted free agent in his second year, took on the lead cornerback role down the stretch to mixed results.
Rollins and Randall are healthy again for offseason work. Gunter should benefit from more experience. Green Bay drafted 6-foot-3 Kevin King from Washington in the second round last month, giving them much-needed length and a potential opening-day starter at one cornerback position.
House could be a starter on the other side. He started all 16 games for the Jaguars in 2015, recording 23 pass deflections and four interceptions, but had just four starts last season.
“So now I’m in role where I’m going out there every time, they call the 1s, I’m the first one out doing the reps and the drills,” House said. “I’m leading by example, I guess you could say.”
The depth that the Packers have now at cornerback should help in a league in which offenses are becoming increasingly reliant on the passing game.
The defensive coordinator is still Dom Capers, so House is familiar with the scheme. Joe Whitt is the cornerbacks coach, just like when House left a few years ago.
House feels at home in Green Bay.
“I wasn’t going to go anywhere else, unless things were just ridiculously different than here,” House said. “This is where I needed to be, for me to ‘show the world what I can do type-thing.'”