Josh Norman should be doubted more often

Brian Tinsman
October 14, 2018 - 6:18 pm

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

"It was like I was playing cornerback against everyone."

That is how it felt to be Josh Norman this week, as perhaps the worst game of his NFL career turned into a week of being dragged in the media.

It started on the field on Monday night, when Norman badly misread several Saints plays that resulted in touchdowns and Drew Brees piling up 250 yards in the first half. At halftime, he went inside his headphones drawing the ire of his head coach, who ripped the headphones off his ears and benched him to start the second half.

In a fitting end to the game, he got completely stuck in his jersey, needing the help of a Saints player to help get it off over his head while team staff and media simply watched.

After the game, he got into an ill-fated Twitter argument with Saints receiver Michael Thomas, who added multiple insults to injury. Norman eventually deleted his tweets, causing Thomas to rub it in even more.

By Tuesday, critics were lining up to take shots at his performance, not just against the Saints, but over the last two seasons in Washington.

Some media members figured out how much it would cost the team to cut him now vs. at the end of the season.

Former teammate DeAngelo Hall ripped Norman for buying into the hype during his appearance on 106.7 The Fan with the Sports Junkies.

"There comes a point where you just gotta play football. Josh is, I think, in love with being a celebrity right now and not necessarily being a football player," Hall said. "Josh needs to refocus, get back on the grind, get back to the basics technique-wise and really work."

Norman responded to Hall in his session with the media on Wednesday, arguing: "I have went Hollywood. I've been Hollywood. Ever since I came out my mama's womb I've been Hollywood. Everybody went right, I went left. That's just how we did it."

Hall came back on CDVTW on 106.7 The Fan and explained that he just speaks the truth: "Nothing I've ever said has been from a place of malice...teams are going to try you, man. And you being benched is just adding fuel to the fire."

That's what it felt like playing cornerback against everyone. As a result, Norman collected his strength and played perhaps the best game he's played in Washington, and one of his better games in the NFL. He had key tackles all day, and two takeaways: his first interception in 20 games and his first forced fumble in more than a year:

From what had been negative sources came positive reactions to his play:

"It was great to see," Gruden told the media after the game. "That thing (with the headphones) popped up in the media somehow, I'm not sure how, but Josh and I swept it under the rug right after it happened.

"It's great to see him play well against his former team. I know it meant a lot to him. A forced fumble, interception and some good tackles--I'm happy for Josh."

From playing cornerback against everyone to being the toast of the town is all in a week's work for Norman. Here's what he told the media after the game:

"We've got to man up and it starts with me, what we do and how we do it," he said. "They all (teammates) are buying in and I just want them to succeed, so bad...we can all communicate and be in the same boat."


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