If Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is looking for bulletin board material from Carolina quote machine Josh Norman, Peyton will be waiting almost as long as his receivers wait for one of his floating passes to return to earth. Norman heaped praise on Manning in a Thursday session with reporters.
“He’s ‘The Sheriff,’ man. I’ve admired him since I grew up,” Norman said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “I have a lot of respect for that guy. . . . Even though he’s got some age on him, he’s ‘The Sheriff.’ If I even get the ball from him, if he throws an interception or something and the guy allows me to be there for it, I’m probably going to bow to him. That’s how much I really think about a guy.”
Norman said his friends have reminded the fourth-year cornerback that he’ll be facing a guy who has been a cornerstone of the NFL for a generation.
“That’s P Freaking M, the guy you’ve been idolizing,” Norman said. “I’ve played the Colts on the game system. . . . This is the guy we’re facing, man. It’s so unbelievably great that God would allow it to happen this way.”
Norman is hoping God doesn’t want Peyton Manning to end his career with a Super Bowl win.
“It’s probably going to be his last game. I know he wants to go out with a bang,” Norman said. “I’m rooting for him, but shoot, I want that ring. I’ll do everything I can to minimize what he likes to do, but at the same time, I respect the heck out of the guy. We’ll see what happens.”
The Panthers instantly became the favorite for Super Bowl 50, and there’s a sense that Carolina’s defense will be able to easily handle the Denver offense. But as an aging broadcaster has said many times over the decades, that’s why they play the games. And the last game of the season could go either way.
Even if it feels like Carolina will indeed be shooting the Sheriff, along with all of his deputies.