After the Redskins lost to the Steelers on Monday night and questions started being asked about why cornerback Josh Norman wasn’t tasked with covering Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown all game, Norman said that he had “100 percent confidence” in the team’s coaches when asked about the game plan.
That’s led to plenty of criticism for coach Jay Gruden as people wonder why’d you pay top of the market prices for Norman and treat him as interchangeable with Bashaud Breeland. Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins was one who said he feels that way, although his teammate Victor Cruz seemed to take a page from fellow wideout Odell Beckham’s book in order to make it all about Norman.
“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, via the New York Post. “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.”
Norman may well have made that request, been denied and opted not to air that publicly after the game. Cruz has no way of knowing that, but he does know that roasting Norman will get space in local and national media. That keeps the issue one that Norman and the Redskins will have to continue answering questions about, especially with the Giants on the schedule next week.
That may be handled without much fuss in Washington, but the Giants obviously believe it’s worth a shot at throwing a division rival off their game.