JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser spent time with Jaguars cornerback Davon House this week and asked three questions as the veteran prepared to play his former team in the 2016 regular-season opener Sunday.
The topic:Playing the Green Bay Packers
The background:House played with Green Bay from 2011-2014 and will play the Packers for the first time since signing with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March 2015.
The quote: "Every game is important. It's the first game of the year, so definitely it's important, but if we had played Green Bay Week 10 it would have been no different. It's not heightened more because we're playing my old team. I don't know if people are thinking, 'I hate Green Bay and I have to go out and kill them.' No. To me, that's dumb. This is the team that drafted me. To me, I'm excited to show them how much better I've gotten being a full-time starter. I'm excited to go out there and make the plays I know I can make. I'm excited about that, but there's no bad blood."
The topic: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The background: Rodgers won two Most Valuable Player Awards – 2011 and 2014 – and led the Packers to four consecutive postseason appearances during House's four seasons with the Packers.
The quote: "It's not just how he prepares, but the things I've seen him do in practice – it's amazing. I've seen him do it in games, too. It's crazy. He takes it serious: every pass attempt. Every play-action fake. He makes sure every throw is on point. The guy is competitive in everything he does. You want that in your quarterback."
The topic:His development since leaving Green Bay
The background:House set a Jaguars franchise record with 23 pass breakups last season and also had four interceptions in 15 games as a starter. He enters the 2016 season along with rookie Jalen Ramsey and veteran free-agent signee Prince Amukamara as a reason the team's cornerback position is considered as deep as it has been in recent memory.
The quote:"First of all, I played like 500 snaps total on defensive Green Bay, which isn't much. I doubled it last year and with me doubling it, I doubled my career stats from Green Bay. I've improved my ability to hover over receivers, to make plays on balls. This year I've been working my tackling, to go out there and show them that am physical enough to tackle an Eddy Lacy or a James Starks. I'm 27 and I have the wear and tear of a 24-year-old, which is great. It's a really good feeling."