The harness is off and the swagger is on. For Davon House, it's back to playing like a "(bleep)hole," as he put it last season. In bold letters, House assured he's healthy and he plans to start in 2013. "To me," House said, "if you think I did good last year then you have a whole other thing coming." Looking back, if House didn't suffer a left shoulder subluxation in the preseason opener, he probably starts Week 1 at cornerback. Not Sam Shields. Instead, Shields started, finished strong and is now flirting with a long-term deal. Yet still, this 10-minute scene from Donald Driver's charity softball game — House's words marinated with vinegar — is exactly the climate the Packers hoped to build this off-season. Shields wasn't paid. Neither was B.J. Raji. Center Evan Dietrich-Smith? He's in the waiting room, too. After shelling out millions to two players, the Packers hit the brakes. Don't assume it's by accident, either. Money, always, is a motivator. In 2013, general manager Ted Thompson has several key starters entering contract years. Financial uncertainty hangs over Shields, Raji, Dietrich-Smith and others. So, no, the Packers won't be too upset if House or anyone else at those respective positions talks a mean game. Every coach alive trumpets the merits of camp competition — the need to create it, nurture it and make it contagious. In Green Bay, Thompson can simply wave a checkbook. The last time the Packers skated through a season with so many core starters seeking long-term deals was 2010. That team was stocked with underpaid players. A.J. Hawk, Cullen Jenkins, Tramon Williams, Daryn Colledge, John Kuhn, Desmond Bishop all delivered in contract years and the Packers won a Super Bowl. Coincidence or not, Green Bay wouldn't mind a repeat in 2013. So far, the players entering contract years have been echoing themselves.
Contract status inspires hunger games for some Packers
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Jul 3