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Steelers To Meet With CB House

The Steelers are starting the week by meeting with a potential sleeper in the free-agent CB game. Here's the rundown on Davon House.

Last time I considered the name Davon House I was driving down the Parkway during draft week 2011.

A guy by the name of Tom Donahoe was on the radio talking prospects. 

Donahoe, of course, was the former Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations. He was a terrific scout, but by then he was out of the NFL and doing media.

One of his favorite sleepers at the cornerback position -- a position of seeming eternal interest to Steelers fans -- was a guy named Davon House.

I disagreed. I may have even turned the channel. I knew that House was a big, fast cornerback. You know, the ideal. But he wasn't my cup of tea.

House was 6-0 1/2, 200 coming out of New Mexico State with 4.49 Combine speed and 4.37 (reported 4.32 elsewhere) pro day speed. And he had terrific agility times. In fact, his 6.65 3-cone time would've been third among defensive backs this year, and it's a bit of a surprise that those two -- Kenny King (6.56) and Brian Allen (6.64) -- are both 6-3 corners.

Why do tall corners run the 3-cone so well? 

I don't know, but I was surprised when I looked up House's Combine 3-cone time because I thought he was too stiff. I thought he played like a tall guy. In fact, I'm surprised he's just a 6-0 1/2 guy right now. He looked, to me, like a 6-3 guy on tape.

But he's on his way to Pittsburgh now to visit with the Steelers, who seem determined to, if not replace Ross Cockrell, bring in someone for competition on that left side.

The Steelers are looking for better press corners to enhance the Cover-2 schemes that have become their primary zone over their traditional Cover-3. 

Of course, they want to do it all, or have the ability to do it all, including the ability to play better man, but in general provide more physicality to re-route receivers at the line of scrimmage.

That was House's M.O. when he signed a four-year, $24.5 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015.

House had been drafted in 2011, the last pick of the fourth round by the Green Bay Packers, three picks after the Steelers had drafted Cortez Allen and 36 picks after they had drafted Curtis Brown (one of my favorites that draft who's since gone and long forgotten).

House barely played as a rookie but started five games in 2012, and five games in 2013, and four games in 2014. He left for Jacksonville, where in 2015 he started 16 games and led the team with four interceptions and a franchise record 23 pass break-ups.

Last season, though, House started the first four games and was benched upon the return from suspension of Aaron Colvin, and House didn't start another game. 

Here's what a perturbed House told Jacksonville.com in January

"The situation this year, if you ask me, was not football-related,” he said. “There is no reason why I shouldn’t have been on the field. But with a new coach coming in, he’s going to see what I can do, he’s going to see what I did last year and they’re going to like what they see.”

Well, the new coach, Doug Marrone, cut House three days before the start of free agency with two years (at $6 million per) left on his contract. 

According to Jacksonville.com, House, in his four 2016 starts, allowed quarterbacks to complete 15 of 17 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. He was flagged for three pass-interference and three holding penalties all season.

Since House plays outside and doesn't cover slot receivers, he fell to No. 4 on the cornerback depth chart and played in only 6.8 percent of the snaps the final 12 games last season.

House's primary attribute is his physicality, but he's a bit stiff in transition and perhaps a bit too aggressive. However, in spite of the "ultra-aggressive" tag, House, prior to his six pass-related penalties last season, had only six pass-related penalties the entire 2015 season and four combined in his final two seasons in Green Bay.


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