- Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson say it every offseason: It is not the rookies who will make the difference for the Green Bay Packers but rather the returning players.
With that in mind, we continue our look at some returning players who need to take their games to another level in 2014.
Next up, it's cornerback Davon House.
Why he needs to step up: Remember when quarterback Matt Hasselbeck earned the nickname “Mr. August” early in his NFL career because of his ability to shine in the preseason? The same could be said about House. He has been a playmaking machine in training camp practices and preseason games during his four-year NFL career but when his opportunity has come to make plays when it matters, he has not delivered. He was benched late last season after a poor performance against Detroit on Dec. 8 and played only five defensive snaps over the final four regular-season games before being thrown back into the mix after starting cornerback Sam Shields was injured early in the playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.
What he has to do: The Packers like House's physical style, but he needs to make plays when he gets his chance. Last season, when forced into action because of injuries, House missed several opportunities to make impact plays. He dropped potential interceptions last season against Baltimore, Minnesota and San Francisco.
Outlook: House put together another strong offseason and even though the Packers are deep at cornerback, he could compete for playing time in the sub packages. Entering camp, he's likely the No. 4 cornerback behind Shields, Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward. It's an important year for House because he is in the final season of the rookie contract he signed after the Packers drafted him in the fourth round in 2011.
Quotable: "Truthfully, I'd say I had one bad game maybe and that was against Detroit,” House said. “I gave up a slant, which was a touchdown and the 20-yard catch they caught, which was a good ball. Besides that game, to me I think I did great. One area of improvement I needed to improve on was catching those interceptions."
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