by Rob Joyce
Cornerbacks and wide receivers are often the two positions on the football field with the most bravado. In other words, they are the most confident and talk the most trash. Having spats between wide outs and corners is fairly common, seeing as they lineup against each other. But Washington defensive back Josh Norman has a special way of getting under opponents’ skin. The latest to draw his ire is Dallas’ Dez Bryant.
Whether it’s wide receivers or fellow corners, here are the rankings of Norman’s beefs:
5) Patrick Peterson:
The Cardinals’ All-Pro corner is a fixture on “best defensive backs in the league” conversation, right along with Norman. However, when someone tweeted video of Norman getting beat at practice, it prompted the Arizona DB – seemingly unprovoked – to respond with a joke about Norman being the highest-rated corner in Madden.
Norman, in his defense, tried to play it off, telling Peterson to not worry about Norman (though he did slide in that Peterson was the fourth-ranked corner in the popular game).
4) Carolina Panthers:
The Panthers made one of the surprises of the offseason when they couldn’t sign the All-Pro to a long-term deal. Instead of signing him to the franchise tag, they outright released him, and a few days later he went to Washington. One of the best defenses in the NFL last year, Carolina has struggled with a lot of young players this season, especially in the secondary. Norman doesn’t sound too upset about their struggles, telling the Dan LeBatard Show “you get what you pay for”.
3) Rodney Harrison:
This isn’t just limited to current players. The former safety-turned-analyst said he thought Julio Jones would outplay Norman when the Redskins and Falcons met last year. Then Norman largely contained the superstar wide out, prompting Norman to go on Twitter and respond to a fan who asked what’s wrong with Harrison. Norman’s response: “…he’s horrible at his job”. Harrison responded by trying to blame Matt Ryan, not credit Norman. And again, the corner’s response: “I will restate: you are horrible at your job”.
2) Dez Bryant:
The most recent opponent of Norman, at one point the two had to be separated during the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day victory. Afterwards it led to some NSFW Twitter activity from Bryant, after Norman accused Bryant of some disparaging remarks during the game. The two don’t meet again this year, so barring a meeting in the playoffs (it’s possible), we’ll have to wait until 2017 to see what transpires next. Norman has said that he wants to move past the tiff, however.
1) Odell Beckham, Jr:
Where it all began. Things have simmered down since last year’s near-street fight between the two, which included OBJ essentially trying to take Norman’s head off. Both players were fined and flagged in the game. Ever since, and especially when Norman joined the Giants’ NFC East rival, people can’t seem to get enough of the two squaring off. Their first encounter this year was fairly civil, and it appears both players have mostly moved past whatever animosity they had for one another.