Norman Won't Start & He Won't Talk Either
Josh Norman had an interception against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers last October at FedExField. He also had a forced fumble and four tackles. It was one of the few excellent performances by Norman in a Redskins uniform.
Fast forward more than a year later and once again, Norman is facing his former team but only this time in Charlotte, for the first time since being let go as a franchise tag free agent by now Giants general manager, Dave Gettleman.
You know - the guy that almost everyone thinks is crazy.
I know him as the guy who got a huge decision absolutely correct. He also got the Saquon Barkley decision and appears to have been right on Daniel Jones. Not to mention trading a generational talent who destroys teams like Odell Beckham. See the Browns this year.
But go ahead, keep thinking he's nuts.
This year, Norman has been awful. It's year four of a five-year contract and it is safe to say that Norman is entering his final month with the Redskins.
He doesn't want to be here and coaches and football people have not wanted him here for a long while.
Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen wanted him here because he had appeal beyond football. He was also a fine football player in his first three seasons in Washington. I would never say he was very good. If you want to argue "good," I can probably accept that.
It's been one episode after another as you can see below and this play didn't even hurt the Redskins. It still counts in the evaluation.
He's blamed everyone but Santa Claus, from what I've heard, privately for his struggles.
I don't buy much of it, if any. According to ProFootballFocus.com Premium, Norman has allowed 31 receptions on 45 targets, an average of 15.1 per reception, 468 yards and seven touchdowns. Norman has also missed six tackles this year, which is normally a strength.
The situation last week was handled poorly as usual by the Redskins. It started with Erin Hawksworth of "Hail to the Pod" reporting that Norman would be a healthy scratch.
Then it was revealed that the Redskins changed their mind and he would be active.
At that point, we found out he wasn't going to play on defense unless needed and the rationale given was that Norman was too banged up to play.
This week, Norman has been a full participant in practice all week. Last week, he was limited on Friday with a hamstring injury after being full go on Wednesday and Thursday.
Was he 100%? Probably not. If he was hurt that bad, why was he even out there for two special teams snaps?
The overall point is this: The Redskins do not want to admit that Norman was benched. After Greg Manusky went all in on Norman last week, Bill Callahan has praised him.
Remember, Manusky was very close to Jay Gruden over the years and was aligned in many evaluations, including Norman, from what I've heard.
Callahan and Gruden did not see eye to eye and he tends to be more gentle about public evaluation than Manusky was about Norman.
This should not be a surprise in any way that it's going to end badly with the tape already being peeled off. He did not want to talk this week when several reporters asked. It's understandable but for a guy who has always had plenty of things to say, it sure is interesting.
Sunday will be Norman's return to Carolina, a place that divorced him. Only nobody will really notice and certainly nobody cares.
Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.