Josh Norman thinks 2016 was his “by far” his “best season”

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Cornerback Josh Norman became a star player in 2015, as the Panthers went 15-1 and landed in the Super Bowl. But he thinks that he played better last season, as a member of a non-playoff team.

“By far for me that was the best season I had,” Norman said Wednesday, via John Keim of

“When I came over from where I was at, they thought I was a system guy,” Norman added. “Got that a lot. I used to chuckle and laugh at it like, ‘Wow, you guys must really hate me for some reason but that’s OK.’”

Part of the criticism directed at Norman a year ago came from the fact that he didn’t follow the other team’s No. 1 receiver. But Norman saw a greater degree of versatility in his performance.

“Last year was the year I could stand on my own and say, ‘OK, I can play whatever you want me to play, coach, put me in,” Norman said. “I can go in nickel. I can come off the edge. I can have a sack or a big play, smack a running back in the backfield. Whatever you need me to do. I can be the hammer. I can be the force. I did that on the outside as well.”

This year, Norman will augment press coverage with more of his work originating from Norman being farther away from the receiver at the snap.

“It opens up my repertoire of tools,” Norman said. “There’s a wide range of things that I can make more plays on, see a lot. . . . There’s a lot more room for error instead of being in someone’s face and smelling what he ate that morning. Now I can give you so many different things. I’m looking forward to that.”

Norman continues to be regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, but it’s no surprise that he didn’t get more credit for his performance in 2016. The fact that the team struggled, coupled with the perception that Norman wasn’t facing the top receiver from the opposing team consistently, contributed to the sense that Norman took a step back, even though he believes he took a step forward.

The real question for 2017 will be whether he and anyone else believe that Norman has taken another step forward.

15 responses to “Josh Norman thinks 2016 was his “by far” his “best season”

  1. “It opens up my repertoire of tools,” Norman said. Not his “repertoire”????? LOL ok bro please don’t hurt them next season!!! LOL

  2. He only stuck to one side of the field for the first week of the season. After AB burnt Breeland repeatedly in the opener, Norman was shadowing every teams top receiver for the rest of the season.

  3. If you refer to the original WaPo article, you’ll see his stats and evaluation stats conclude he had a great year.
    If you actually watched his play during Skins games last year, he was ferocious and handled vast duties very well.

    He just has to stop slapping defenders in the face Deacon Jones-style to avoid all those dumb penalties.

    And yes, tho I love the guy on my team, he sounds like Emmitt as he mixes metaphors and butchers expressions

  4. I’m a Redskins fan and want this clown gone.

    If last year was his best year, he cannot possibly make the Redskins better.

  5. ya whatever you say “toast” norman!

    what is it with these deadskin corners yapping all the time with nothing to show for, 1st it was D’Angelo Fall now it’s “toast” Norman?

  6. It’s amazing to me how much negativity is always in the comments. Bunch of haters who couldn’t play sports. Just be happy for the guy.

  7. He actually had a great season last year; but was let down by the injury to Sua Cravens. He’s been worth every penny. I can’t stand the Redskins but he was good last year.

  8. Panthers fan here, I’ll take Josh back anytime. If he’s a system guy, fine, he plays really well in our system. Try and remember this guy was in the Coach’s doghouse for a long time in Carolina and he doesn’t have that much wear on his legs, and he works every bit as hard as he talks. Sometimes he gives you a dumb penalty, but you live with it for the swag he brings. Redskins other CBs were bad last season, put some pieces there and give it some time.

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