Josh Norman, Rodney Harrison continue their back-and-forth


Last week, Rodney Harrison said on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk that Panthers cornerback Josh Norman is: (1) one of the best cornerbacks in the game; and (2) not good enough to shut down Falcons receiver Julio Jones. Norman, ignoring the compliment and focusing on the insult, hurled back only and insult, calling Harrison “horrible at his job.”

The back-and-forth has continued in the aftermath of Carolina’s 38-0 win over Atlanta, with Rodney reiterating his views on Jones and Norman and Norman reiterating his views on Rodney in separate Monday comments to Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer.

“Before [Norman] sits there and he rips me and says I’m horrible at my job, which is very disrespectful, he needs to shut up and make sure he reads the entire quote,” Harrison said. “That’s what he needs to do. That’s being professional.”

Said Norman: “You are an analyst and that means reporting the truth, not some mythological thing that you have in your head that’s not factual information. . . . That’s why I say you are horrible at it. . . . If you had done your homework, you would have seen I played [Julio Jones] twice last year and it was the same outcome. So I don’t know what you want to see that I haven’t done.”

Harrison realizes that the venom from Norman is natural, given his age and experience level.

“[T]hey become very emotional,” Rodney said of young players. “I was the same. . . . I was a fifth-round draft choice. I was Josh Norman. I get it, and I respect it. … I’ve been there. He’s trying to get where I’ve been. I’ve played in Pro Bowls and I’ve been All-Pro and all those different things. So I’ve been a fifth-rounder just like him, overshadowed, people talking you down, not getting the credit.”

Rodney also encouraged Norman to continue to keep the chip on his shoulder.

“That’s why I love the kid,” Rodney said. “And ultimately that will keep him at the level that he’s playing at. Because if there’s any advice I would give him [it is] ‘Keep that. Even when you get that $60-$70 million contract you’re going to get in the next year or two, keep that. When you keep that, it separates you from everyone else. And that’s going to be your edge. That’s going to be your work ethic.”

Norman was nevertheless less than gracious regarding Rodney’s praise.

“The thing is he has no choice but to give me that,” Norman said. “Look at the numbers. They speak for themselves. . . . The facts are the facts, the proof is in the pudding. How can I not be [the best cornerback in the NFL]?”

On Tuesday, Rodney elaborated on his views during an appearance on WEEI.

I don’t give a damn about Josh Norman and what he thinks about me,” Rodney said. “He’s playing football. Everything that he’s trying to do, I’ve done. I’ve been in the Pro Bowl. I’ve been All-Pro. I’ve played in Super Bowls. I don’t care about that. I’ve made money. So I’m not worried about what Josh Norman thinks of me. If he wants to use that as motivation, that’s fine. I hope he goes on and has a successful career. I want to see young men make it. . . . If he wants to make it personal, I’m not afraid of Josh Norman. We can always buckle up in the boxing ring and have a match. And once I know him out, then I’ll get up and give him a cold iced tea. It’s all good.”

It’s all good — and it would be great if the two of them got together to discuss their differences, with or without a boxing ring.

Ultimately, the root of the problem isn’t what Rodney said; it’s that he’s willing to say something other than only positive things about players.

“At the end of the day, there’s a job to be done, and I’m not going to sit here and try to befriend these guys,” Rodney told WEEI. “My job and my loyalty is to the fans. Because they deserve to hear the truth and truly what’s going on. In too many of these pregame shows, you’ve got guys trying to be buddy-buddy with everybody, and you don’t get the full truth. You get guys [saying], ‘Oh, he’s great, he’s this, he’s that.’ No, he sucks. Why don’t you say it? Why are you afraid to say that he stinks? What are you afraid to say that it’s a bad coaching decision? That’s what people want to hear. People don’t want to hear, ‘Oh, he’s the best, he’s this, he’s that.’ Screw that. I’m not that guy.”

So what is Norman’s overall assessment of Rodney?

“I think he’s a bitter old guy, man,” Norman told Fowler on Monday. “I’m sorry to say it, but it’s real. . . . We don’t have to care for each other. I’m in Charlotte. You’re broadcasting wherever you’re at, wishing you could probably play again.”

In a text message to PFT, Rodney said, “I’m not a bitter old man. I’m having fun getting his attention every week.”

Rodney also added that, even though Norman claims that Rodney wishes he was still playing, Rodney turned down an eight-figure contract in his 15th year because he had accomplished everything he had set out to do in football.

Luckily for the fans, Rodney is accomplishing something too few former players are willing to try to do: He’s telling the truth, providing genuine assessments, and not shying away from anyone who has a problem with anything Rodney says.

58 responses to “Josh Norman, Rodney Harrison continue their back-and-forth

  1. Josh Norman is going to wish he could have Rodney’ s post playing day career.

    Have a better career and then you can say he is bitter, but for now, Norman is just another player in the league.

  2. Harrison does suck at his job though. As a matter of fact, the entire nbc snf crew is pretty bad. Peter King, Dungy, Harrison…they all suck, and don’t get me started on Collinsworth.

  3. The problem started with the fact that Rodney said Josh was not good enough to stop Julio. Well, I can understand Josh taking issue with that statement. Rodney is certainly entitled to his opinion but that’s all it was, an opinion. Josh has a right to respond to that. Rodney can’t claim he’s telling the truth. The facts are the facts. Josh has shut down Julio and is more than good enough to cover Julio. Now, that’s the truth.

  4. “Rodney”? I know he’s a colleague, but can’t you at least give the appearance of professionalism, and not appear to be so chummy which him?

  5. I find Harrison’s approach to his job refreshing. I can’t say I share his opinions on everything but he is concise, articulate and experienced.

    I find Norman’s approach curious. I must say I enjoy his play immensely. His inability to accept criticism, worthy or not, is hard for me to fathom. All players are subject to having their performance critiqued and it is ever evolving. Being bitter is not necessarily a by-product of age obviously.

  6. Rodney Harrion knew the plays that were coming from stealing signals the week before the game. Now that Bill isn’t doing his “homework” he cannot even check game logs from a year ago…

  7. Anybody else find it funny that Rodney said it was disrespectful that Norman said he was horrible at his job but turned around and called other analysts horrible at their job for not calling other players horrible at their job?

    Rodney Harrison needs to get over himself. Rodney should have just tipped his capped and gave Josh Norman his credit after he held Julio to a pretty below average day for Julio Jones’ standard.

  8. Good for Norman, don’t take crap from anyone just because they were successful in the league….but Baldwin’s take down of Chris Carter is still my favorite….

  9. “norman comes off poorly here”
    -the guy on a computer

    norman is where he is right now because of that mindset you think is coming off poorly

    a lot of ppl think everyone is supposed to act their way and their way only.

  10. I have no dog in this fight at all. But I think its safe to say that Josh Norman can cover Julio Jones a smidge better than Rodney Harrison can cover David Tyree.

  11. “Luckily for the fans, Rodney is accomplishing something too few former players are willing to try to do: He’s telling the truth, providing genuine assessments, and not shying away from anyone who has a problem with anything Rodney says.”
    Does Rodney ever criticize the Patriots/Tom Brady or is he only willing to criticize players of other teams?

  12. Stop the madness. Norman is a good cover guy on an amazing defense. Harrison was a beast that singlehandely turned the tide. Between knocking people into tomorrow and ball hawking. Matt ryan has been the reason julio is cooling off

  13. Can’t side with Harrison one of the dirtiest & biggest cheap shot guys to ever line up,Josh norman is a great young player who is just starting to reach his potential…Talk about professional Rodney is anything but I remember him always talking crap about Marino how do guys like this continue to be on tv?

  14. factman66 says:
    Dec 15, 2015 3:47 PM
    Harrison does suck at his job though. As a matter of fact, the entire nbc snf crew is pretty bad. Peter King, Dungy, Harrison…they all suck, and don’t get me started on Collinsworth.
    You forgot to mention one particular name…

  15. 6-59-0

    Those are Julio Jones numbers against Josh Norman and the Panthers.

    Harrison needs to admit he was wrong and that the facts don’t bear out his opinion. Norman needs to just shut up and play football.

  16. Rodney’s coverage of Tyree was PERFECT. The only reason Tyree made that play was because it was a filthy one-in-a-quadrillion-never-ever-gonna-happen-again hiccup in the laws of the natural universe. Rodney had Tyree locked, and even worked to muscle it out. Rodney played that ball VERY well.

    I am no Patriot fan, but watch some of the mug jobs by the NYG OLs. Seriously. I am not a fan of the Patriots and what they stoop to. But look at how much holding was going on during that play by the Giant OLs. Not clutch and grasp stuff either — lock down change the course of the game (and history) holding.

    As for Norman, the fact is he has balled well versus Julio – and he deserves rightful credit for it, but Rodney Harrison was more than solid in that quirky play to Tyree.

  17. “He’s one of the best in the game but he’s not good enough to stop Julio”? That makes no sense to me. Julio jones has been stopped before so for Harrison to discredit Norman’s ability while simultaneously giving him a backhanded compliment is unprofessional.

  18. Yeah I’m sure an over the hill safety who was already considered slow played 1 full season in his last 4 years coming off a torn quad was offered an 8 figure deal.

  19. Said Norman: “You are an analyst and that means reporting the truth,

    He needs to learn the difference between an analyst and a reporter.

  20. I’m with Josh Norman this time. Rodney is garbage. He also tries to swing nearly every conversation at NBC to “how great the Patriots are”. So annoying.

  21. For someone who doesn’t care about Josh Norman, Rodney Harrison has a lot to say. So, Norman is unprofessional, and Harrison is the adult? Then I’d suggest Harrison act like it, stop openly trolling fan bases and active players, and get some perspective. You don’t play for the Patriots anymore. I have to side with Josh Norman. Harrison is professionally pathetic.

  22. Rodney Harrison says he’s great at his job because he’s not afraid to say someone sucks. But when Josh Norman says Rodney Harrison sucks as an analyst, that’s disrespectful? If Rodney Harrison has a right to his opinion, so does Josh Norman.

  23. ” I’m not going to sit here and try to befriend these guys,” Rodney told WEEI.
    Damn, he just lumped individual players into a group, where they are relegated to “these guys”? How professional is that? He just shamefully profiled Norman and anybody who looks like him, plays CB or something … Harrison should be professional enough to answer why he categorizes people who disagree with him.

    If he once criticized the team he played for, then maybe I’d buy his position, but he is biased and everyone knows it. Finally, the weak defense of Harrison shows how pathetically wrong he is on this subject.

  24. Rodney Harrison was no doubt a great player,but he is not a great analysis and for some reason continue to doubt Carolina Panthers ability to win on a high level,he choose Philadelphia over the panthers when clearly Carolina had the better team,so Rodney wise up and stop being a smuck!

  25. factman66 says:
    Dec 15, 2015 3:47 PM

    Harrison does suck at his job though. As a matter of fact, the entire nbc snf crew is pretty bad. Peter King, Dungy, Harrison…they all suck, and don’t get me started on Collinsworth.
    I like Collinsworth. And Harrison. But Dungy looks like a deer in the headlights on that broadcast and needs to be replaced immediately.

  26. Rodney Harrison hasn’t told not one single truth about what could possibly be one the best teams we ever see in this lifetime. To dismiss this team is ignorance. Rodney has shown his ignorance all season.The panthers being 13-0 gives Rodney no credibility. Wake up Rodney ! The panthers don’t suck….Josh Norman has shut down Julio and has been the better player on 3 occasions. You know what those things say Rodney? That you do in fact SUCK at your job.

  27. “Luckily for the fans, Rodney is accomplishing something too few former players are willing to try to do: He’s telling the truth…”

    But he’s not telling the truth, and that’s what started this whole thing. During Harrison’s discussion on the upcoming matchup, he said July Jones had the advantage (perfectly acceptable opinion), but one of the reasons he cited for that advantage was that Norman “has not faced a receiver like Julio” when, in fact, he had, twice. And Norman beat him again, with Jones catching 6 passes for 42 yards and no points. (The 7th catch, a 46-yarder, came when Jones was guarded by Bene Benwikere, who broke his leg on the play.) And Harrison is still saying Norman is not as good as Jones. This is also not the truth.

    Norman has played mostly one-on-one against DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks (twice), Doug Baldwin, T.Y. Hilton, Randall Cobb, Dez Bryant and Jones, and none have had any real success except Cooks. So not only is Norman better than Jones, he’s better than every other cornerback and most of the wide receivers in the NFL.

    Those are the facts, and there’s nothing Rodney Harrison’s blind hatred of anything non-Patriot can do about it.

  28. Norman needs to stay focus on the games at hand. We got the Giants Sunday and Beckham is already talking thrash! Focus on the next opponent, dont let that Rodney clown get under your skin.

  29. It isn’t Julio Jones, Norman has to worry about, the Falcons couldn’t find the end zone from their own 10 yard line with a map and a flash light this year…’s OBJ he needs to worry about. Let’s see who wins this match up. Should be fun to watch.
    As for Harrison, he’s articulate and knows the game. The ones who really need to go is Ray ‘the Murderer’ Lewis and Cris ‘Fall Guy’ Carter. They’re excruciatingly painful to watch/listen to and are as racist as they come.

  30. Harrison was a dirty player when he played because he wasn’t good enough without being dirty and now he is trying to play dirty in announcing because that is all he knows and the only way he knows how to attract attention and feel as though he is good at something. I don’t know Norman, but I know Harrison and he is a hack at announcing, he says whatever will get him attention and he is rarely right with his prognostications. Dirty player, lousy announcer. Norman is right.

  31. Rodney Harrison is running scared at the moment. He didn’t do his homework on Julio and has never learned to admit he made a mistake in his life or his J.O.B.
    Norman is experiencing success at a level that he has only previously dreamed about. He hasn’t quite got a handle on how to deal with this level of scrutiny by the media.
    Media clowns like Scott Fowler and Harrison are all too willing to draw out the worst in him in order to advance their careers.
    My advice to Norman if he’s listening is just concentrate on your next opponent and don’t worry about the accolades because they will undoubtedly come if you continue to play at this incredible level.
    As for Harrison, I have very little hope for you succeeding behind a desk. It’s apparent you’re a fish out of water.
    Lastly there’s Scott Fowler, the guy who is supposed to be making a living reporting on sports in the greater Charlotte area. Scott you’ve had your 15 seconds of fame. I’ve followed you for years and as I’ve told you before when you tried to drum up and instigate problems for the teams that you cover, YOU SUCK AT YOUR JOB.
    Just like Rodney Harrison.

  32. Rodney Harrison is a joke as an NFL analyst……… he’s not relevant & doesn’t deserve any TV time………

    Josh Norman – best CB in the NFL right now

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