This is the moment when Josh Norman just needs to block out the noise and play. For better or for worse, Josh Norman’s football life changed the moment he accepted $75 million from the Washington Redskins.
No longer does anybody care about the scheme, personnel or as the pundits will phrase it excuses, because Josh Norman is paid like the best defensive back in football, so he should cover the other team's best asset, according to those same pundits.
Anybody that knows an ilk about the game of football understands that Josh Norman’s strengths are not playing in a phone booth. In football terminology, it is my opinion that Norman doesn’t have the footwork or hips to handle Antonio Brown one-on-one for an entire game.
It’s not fair to Norman, and likely would have subjected the Redskins star to some form of embarrassment on Monday night.
Instead, Washington utilized Norman, like the Seattle Seahawks do Richard Sherman, allowing him to play comfortably on his side, using his ball skills and not asking him to be Darrelle Revis at the line of scrimmage.
Like Sherman a few seasons back, Norman is now being criticized by the media and his peers after Antonio Brown caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-16 Pittsburgh Steelers win.
Maybe hoping to ruffle his feathers, the New York Giants' Week 3 opponents are already playing mind games with Norman, suggesting that he should have demanded Brown for the entire game, per the New York Post.
“I think when you’re paying somebody $70 mil, there shouldn’t be no game plan,’’ Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. “The game plan should be: You’re on this guy. That’s what it is.’’
Victor Cruz had more to say, insinuating that Norman wanted no parts of Brown, because he had “a choice.”
“Especially if he calls himself – I don’t call him this, he calls himself – the best corner in the league, then you have to cover the best receivers on the other team,’’ Cruz said Wednesday after practice. “Going in I thought he was going to follow AB all over the place but he didn’t so it is what it is. He made his choice.’
“It’s always his choice. He can go to the powers that be and say ‘Hey, I want to cover this guy.’ And if they say no, if maybe he did that and they said no, then I’ll have to eat my words. But for the most part you can go and make that request I’m sure.’’
Take Cruz out of the equation, and Jenkins comments were heavier, but he also has his own video footage to back up the claim in some sense.
In the offseason, Jenkins signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal, and on Sunday in Dallas he covered Dez Bryant almost every play, limiting the star Cowboys wide receiver to only one catch for eight yards. Take into account the schemes also, with New York’s being the more aggressive of the two.
Norman said he’s not focused on where he lines up or whether or how much he faces the opposition’s best receiver.