But the Panthers say they haven’t thought about Norman at all.
During an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz Monday, Norman laughed while being shamelessly baited for a reaction about Jones’ day, and said: “You get what you pay for.”
After the Panthers pulled the franchise tag from Norman this year, they went with rookie corners and an overhauled secondary, and it cost them in the short term against the Falcons. And though Norman has made a few plays and headlines in Washington, the Panthers are focusing on what they have.
“I haven’t thought about Josh on our defense since the minute he left,” Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “That’s just how you have to do it.”
Norman wouldn’t have fixed it all, as Jones went for 178 the last time they faced each other (122 yards is a lot though). But the Panthers are pinning their hopes on rookies James Bradberry and Daryl Worley getting better after getting scorched.
“I’d be naive to think [we wouldn’t go through growing pains]. That’s the case every year where you have players at new positions — in particular in the secondary, where’s there’s a lot of communication that goes on,” McDermott said. “There’s no substitute for experience. Having said that, it wasn’t just the young corners. It spread. It starts with me and it’s a whole team defense thing at that point. . . .
“I woke up last night on the hour just about every hour and had to talk myself back to sleep because you look at the Kansas City-Pittsburgh game. Flip the other way the week before. Flip back. Welcome to life in the NFL. Doesn’t make it right the way we played yesterday, whatsoever. Going forward is what’s important — that we learn from it, we get stronger and we grow stronger together.”
But rest assured, Norman will be sitting in Washington watching — and counting the money the Panthers didn’t want to give him (or spend on any replacements).