Giants receiver Victor Cruz has begun talking trash ahead of the team’s Week 3 meeting with the Redskins and cornerback Josh Norman.
Cruz spoke to reporters Wednesday and belittled Norman following his team’s struggles in coverage against Steelers star Antonio Brown in Week 1. Brown caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns in Pittsburgh’s win over Washington. Norman, the Redskins’ top cover man, notably clashed with the Giants and wideout Odell Beckham last season while a member of the Panthers.
Brown was shadowed by Bashaud Breeland, not Norman, for much of the game. Cruz noted he thought Norman could have gone out of his way to cover Brown had he wanted to.
“Especially if he calls himself -- I don't call him this, he calls himself the best corner in the league -- then you have to go cover the best receivers on the other team,” Cruz said of Norman. “Going in, I thought he was going to follow [Brown] all over the place, but he didn't. So it is what it is. He made his choice.”
The Giants and Redskins meet in Week 3, and Norman and Beckham will renew their rivalry as divisional opponents for the first time. The two players both drew multiple flags in their meeting last season, with Beckham drawing a one-game suspension and a minor controversy emerging over Norman and Carolina’s possession of a baseball bat on the sidelines before the game.
Norman spoke separately about his own performance and his team’s coverage schemes on Wednesday. The Redskins face the Cowboys and top receiver Dez Bryant in Week 2.
"I'm doing what I'm asked to do and doing it to the best of my abilities, trying to be a cerebral assassin on details and assignments which my coaches ask me to do," he said. "Trying to be a technician of the game. Anything I can do, I'm all for it. Whether I travel or not travel to one side, left side, who really cares? Just get the job done. Whoever gets the job done so be it.”
Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins also chimed in on Norman, who signed a lucrative deal with the Redskins in the off-season.
“I think when you're paying someone $70 million when there shouldn't be no game plan," Jenkins told reporters. "The game plan should be, you're on this guy, and that's what it is.”