Josh Norman is a lot of things — odd, mercurial … and one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks. And he’ll make his regular-season debut for his new team, the Redskins, when they face a high-powered Steelers‘ offense on Monday Night Football.
But unlike Norman’s stormy relationship with Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr (quick refresher in case you’re just back from Mars), Norman has nothing but respect for Brown, generally considered the league’s top receiver.
“Watching [Brown] and what he’s able to do is freakish,” Norman said recently, via ESPN.com. “When you look at the receivers in the NFL you don’t have to stop nowhere other than Antonio Brown. It starts and ends with him. That’s going to be a tall task to take on, and I respect that. I’m looking forward to what he brings, because that matchup is going to be a physical one and a fun one. I have nothing but respect for that guy.”
“When you look at the receivers in the NFL you don’t have to stop nowhere other than Antonio Brown. It starts and ends with him.”Josh Norman
In fact, Norman has such a high opinion of Brown that he says he won’t engage in any on-field trash talking Monday night. Just in case, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has warned Brown to not get caught up in any extracurriculars.
“The big thing for both — they might try to play mind games with each other — I’ll talk to my guy and make sure he keeps a level head and just plays football,” Roethlisberger said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
And maybe the pregame niceties are all part of the Jedi mind tricks because Norman was somehow more effusive when talking up Roethlisberger.
“Oh my gosh, Big Ben, another great one,” he said. “You look at the quarterbacks in this league, and Big Ben has been up there since he’s been in the league. He’s one of the great ones. I’ll walk up to him and be like, ‘Hey, can I get your jersey?’ That’s how much respect I’ve got for him. I don’t ask for jerseys like that, until someone shows me they are great at what they do. Big Ben is that. That’s the utmost respect I have for a quarterback.”
So, for now, it’s all unicorns and rainbows. How long it lasts is another matter, especially since Monday night will mark the first time Norman and Brown have faced off in a regular-season game. In case you’re wondering how Brown fared last season against the NFL’s top corners, Seattle’s Richard Sherman limited him to just six catches for 51 yards in a Week 12 matchup. But three weeks later, Brown exploded for 16 catches for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns against Denver’s Chris Harris Jr.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Big Ben tells Antonio Brown to avoid Josh Norman’s mind games on ‘MNF’