Via Britt McHenry of ESPN.com, Norman will follow Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. on Sunday, unless Beckham lines up in the slot. That’s a clear departure from the approach the team used in Week One against Pittsburgh, and stubbornly defended thereafter. (Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer points out that Norman followed Beckham during the notorious December 2015 game between the Panthers and Giants, which featured multiple incidents between Norman and Beckham and, eventually, a one-game suspension for Beckham.)
Why the change in philosophy by Washington, which had planned to keep Norman on one side of the defensive formation?
“We’re going to let him earn the $75 million,” an unnamed team source told McHenry.
It’s a smart move by the team, even if it shows that the organization is willing to flinch in the face of fan and media pressure. More accurately, it’s likely that Norman flinched.
Although Norman has tried to shrug off the situation as the product of what the team wants, the reality is that Norman is more comfortable on the left side of the defense. He has apparently decided to exit his comfort zone (with the exception of covering Beckham in the slot), due to the intense scrutiny regarding the team’s decision to pay him so much money and to let him stay on one side of the field.