Washington cornerback Josh Norman was benched during last night’s humiliating loss to the Saints.
Then it got worse.
Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas started trolling Norman on Twitter and wouldn’t stop, calling him “zone corner” and saying he planned to “bully” him the rest of his career.
Before the schoolyard taunts began, Norman was replaced in the second half by rookie Greg Stroman, who gave up a long touchdown. Norman re-entered the game after that series.
“We talked about some things at halftime,” Coach Jay Gruden said, via Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post. “Had to cool him down a little bit. Everything’s fine. It’ll be back to normal, and he’ll play the rest of the year.”
The high-priced corner was low-key about the decision.
“I leave everything up to the head coach,” Norman said. “Whatever Jay said, that’s what we’re going to go with. I don’t have anything else more to say on the issue.
“At the end of the day, yes, I’m a fiery competitor. Never want to come off. . . . But whatever the head coach says, I’m a go for it. That’s the chain of command. He’s in charge. . . . I respect the head man in charge.”
Washington seemed to have some communications issues, as a busted coverage left Norman playing the flat while Tre'Quan Smith ran wide open for a 62-yard touchdown (the one that gave Drew Brees the all-time passing yards record). Gruden referred to the coverage problems as “an absolute embarrassment.”
Of course, that might have been after the game, when Thomas started talking. After Thomas brought the subject up, Norman replied by pointing out Thomas didn’t have any catches on him, calling him a “blocking decoy.” Thomas fired back:
All in all, it was a rough night Washington in general, but Norman in particular.