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Josh Norman will cover Odell Beckham, except when he’s in the slot

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Cornerback Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins and wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys look on in the second quarter at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

So much for Washington not wanting to screw up the rest of the secondary by moving cornerback Josh Norman around.

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.

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30 Responses to “Josh Norman will cover Odell Beckham, except when he’s in the slot”
  1. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Sep 21, 2016 1:29 PM

    One more reason he’s not as good as Chris Harris Jr. Chris plays everywhere and specializes in the slot. Some corners need an out of bounds line as a second defender, Chris does not.

  2. bleedingfacemask says: Sep 21, 2016 1:30 PM

    “Josh Norman will cover Odell Beckham, except when he’s not”

    That’s better…

  3. ctiggs says: Sep 21, 2016 1:31 PM

    Well we know what the first play of the game is. 7-0 Giants 14:30 left in the 1st.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 21, 2016 1:31 PM

    The Giants are salivating if Washington even plans to do this. It’s going to leave so much of the field wide open. Beckham doesn’t even line up in the slot much anymore. They will motion him and out of a three wide set, someone’s going to be in man and one slip = nothing but green.

    They’d be better off playing zone all game like New Orleans and trying to keep everything in front of them than doing this, but hey, desperation with your season already on the brink begets such talk.

  5. najacoo22 says: Sep 21, 2016 1:36 PM

    “More accurately, it’s likely that Norman flinched.”

    ——————

    Norman is a tool and a really unlikable player. With that being said, that’s purely speculative, and probably incorrect. The stubborn Redskins coordinators and coaches are to blame for using him the way they did in week 1 and most of week 2.

  6. ravens2014 says: Sep 21, 2016 1:37 PM

    Norman’s career is following the same path as most highly paid free redskins signings. He will be cut after next season.

  7. wrlegrand says: Sep 21, 2016 1:38 PM

    Norman made a tremendous mistake, professionally, leaving the Panthers. Clearly, he had to take the money as any right-minded person would have done. However, he never moved around as a part of the Panthers’ secondary last year. As in NEVER. He was a fantastic player, but undeniably was aided by the front-seven and LB corps. Now he is under the microscope and it is not going to end well.

    Again, he had to take the money. He should be set for life financially. Professionally the better move was to have kept his mouth shut and stayed in Carolina.

  8. patsxsaintsfan says: Sep 21, 2016 1:45 PM

    Norman has played like a top 5 corner this year and when he has lined up against Dez and Antonio neither had a catch if I’m not mistaken. He is a good corner maybe let him make a mistake before you say he will be cut after this year.

  9. metalman5150 says: Sep 21, 2016 1:52 PM

    Won’t matter if Kirk can’t suck it up

  10. eazeback says: Sep 21, 2016 1:53 PM

    yay!!! and breeland will be on the cruz missle so im definitely starting sterling shepherd this week, he goes for a bill and a td……BOOK IT!

  11. boysroll says: Sep 21, 2016 1:57 PM

    giants will be o and 3 and beckham has 150 yds and 2 tds. Cousins gets benched for McCoy as the skins finish the season 3-13 and last place in the division.

  12. doe22us says: Sep 21, 2016 2:04 PM

    Does it really even matter, I don’t remember the last time the skins even beat the Giants.

  13. youafool says: Sep 21, 2016 2:07 PM

    @patsxsaintsfan

    Norman has played well and is the top rated corner on PFF rankings after two weeks but he was on Dez primarily in the fourth and Dez caught two big catches on him if I remember correctly.

  14. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Sep 21, 2016 2:25 PM

    Should read ,,,,,,try and cover !

  15. abninf says: Sep 21, 2016 2:25 PM

    Why are they announcing their game plan?

    And the name of the team is the Redskins.

  16. bleedingfacemask says: Sep 21, 2016 2:31 PM

    wrlegrand says:
    Sep 21, 2016 1:38 PM
    Norman made a tremendous mistake, professionally, leaving the Panthers.
    ————————
    Norman didn’t leave the Panthers. He’s still in shock that the team made the extremely rare move to rescind his franchise tag and dump him.

  17. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 21, 2016 2:34 PM

    Norman will follow Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. on Sunday, unless Beckham lines up in the slot –

    At which point Norman will yell across the field at Odell making fun of him for playing the slot like a little girl until Odell cries.

  18. najacoo22 says: Sep 21, 2016 2:40 PM

    wrlegrand says:
    Sep 21, 2016 1:38 PM
    Norman made a tremendous mistake, professionally, leaving the Panthers. Clearly, he had to take the money as any right-minded person would have done. However, he never moved around as a part of the Panthers’ secondary last year. As in NEVER. He was a fantastic player, but undeniably was aided by the front-seven and LB corps. Now he is under the microscope and it is not going to end well.

    Again, he had to take the money. He should be set for life financially. Professionally the better move was to have kept his mouth shut and stayed in Carolina.

    ——————

    That narrative is fun and all, but it’s completely false that Norman “NEVER” moved around in the Panthers secondary. Go watch some 2015 Panthers games.

    I.E. When they played the Giants, he moved to the left side to cover Beckham quite a few times. The same was true against Julio Jones. He wasn’t used on the top WR almost 99% of the time like a Deion Sanders, Revis, or Peterson; but he did follow them some, even if he was in zone coverage quite a bit.

  19. demskinsbaby says: Sep 21, 2016 2:40 PM

    Well there you have it Odell will play slot all game.. Lol.

  20. mongo3401 says: Sep 21, 2016 2:42 PM

    Heading should be. Josh Norman will attempt to cover OBJ. Norman is a joke

  21. firesnyder says: Sep 21, 2016 2:46 PM

    I have a feeling Norman will be following Odell wherever he goes. The slot comment has got to be meant to mislead… at least I hope so. Otherwise, the Skin’s coaching crew will really piss me off again.

  22. abanig says: Sep 21, 2016 2:57 PM

    How about Dashaun Phillips? How long before he’s cut? Blackmon can take over there or one of our other corners.

    When will Bruton he benched in favor of Cravens or Ihenacho?

    The status quo is not getting it done in the secondary. If these guys aren’t demoted, then we have to question the coaches for sure because they shouldn’t be playing.

  23. mackame15 says: Sep 21, 2016 3:03 PM

    Giants 31 Skins’ 13
    week three and they buried GOBLUE

  24. agent7x6 says: Sep 21, 2016 3:04 PM

    Whose idea was it to disclose the defensive game plan to the Giants?

  25. malleng says: Sep 21, 2016 3:16 PM

    Pick your poison with the Giants offensive weapons. If you take away one, you’ve got plenty of other options to try and deal with. To be clear, I’m not saying that sticking one guy on OBJ is “taking him away”. I’ll take that man one on one with anyone, on any day.

  26. patslaya says: Sep 21, 2016 3:31 PM

    Wait, isn’t this going to confuse the players?

  27. atepper001 says: Sep 21, 2016 4:16 PM

    i will never understand the people that work in the nfl and why they are considered gods in their profession. it wasn’t obvious to have your best DB cover the other teams #1 WR because coaching and scheme trumps player ability.

    then, not only does player ability now trump coaching and scheme just 2 weeks later but, it is also beneficial for a team to announce to the opponent their intentions 4 days before the game giving them enough time to design a game plan that puts their best WR in the slot in crucial situations such as 3rd down and the red zone. smh.

  28. shaggytoodle says: Sep 21, 2016 4:36 PM

    Nothing like letting the game plan, out of the bag, if I were the Giants I would now put ODB outside with Norman on him, then motion him into the slot. Snapping quick before the Defense can communicate, and cause confusion and mismatches.

  29. junkmtb says: Sep 21, 2016 8:59 PM

    He needs to start earning that ridiculous amount of money!

  30. torebear says: Sep 22, 2016 2:20 AM

    Confused secondary play coming up!

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