Josh Norman

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Josh Norman
refer to caption
Norman with the Washington Redskins in 2018
No. 24 – Washington Redskins
Position:Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1987-12-15) December 15, 1987 (age 31)
Greenwood, South Carolina
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:Greenwood (SC)
College:Coastal Carolina
NFL Draft:2012 / Round: 5 / Pick: 143
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:376
Pass deflections:74
Interceptions:13
Forced fumbles:11
Fumble recoveries:4
Defensive touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com

Joshua Ricardo Norman (born December 15, 1987) is an American football cornerback for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Coastal Carolina, and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Norman was once considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.[1] In addition to his football career, he also finished as the runner-up on the 26th season of the celebrity dancing competition show, Dancing with the Stars.

High school[edit]

Norman attended Greenwood High School and, during his junior season, was a teammate of future teammates Armanti Edwards and D. J. Swearinger.[2][3] In 2006, Norman was the only two-way player on his high school team that won the South Carolina State Championship.[3] He was named an All-State football player and was selected to participate in the North-South All-Star Game. He was also named to the All-Lakeland Region 4A on offense and also participated in basketball, baseball, and track throughout high school.[4] Despite a decorated high school career, Norman had no scholarship offers from any Division I schools.[3]

College career[edit]

Norman began college by taking courses at Horry Georgetown Tech while living with his brother, Marrio Norman, who earned a full scholarship in football to Coastal Carolina.[3] The following year in 2008, Norman was offered a spot on the Chanticleers as a walk-on.

During his true freshman year at Coastal Carolina in 2008, Norman played in all 12 games with 7 starts. During his first start against North Carolina A&T, Norman recorded his first interception.[3] He recorded 26 solo tackles and 35 total tackles, tying for ninth most tackles on the team. He ranked fifth in the Big South with 9 pass defenses and 2 interceptions. He earned Big South Freshman of the Week honors after his 7 tackle, 1 interception, and 1 pass defensed performance in a win over Presbyterian and had at least one tackle in 11 of 12 games.[4] After his freshman year, Coastal Carolina awarded Norman a scholarship.[5]

During his sophomore season, Norman was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press and made the College Sporting News' "Fabulous Fifty" All-American team. He also earned first team All-Big South. During the season, he broke the league record and tied for second in the nation with eight interceptions. He ranked third in interceptions per game with 0.73 and led the league with 15 pass breakups, tying eighth nationally with 1.36 per game. He also ranked sixth on the team with 35 tackles and led the team with 2 blocked kicks. He earned Big South Defensive Player of the Week and National Defensive Player of the Week after tying a Big South record with 3 interceptions in a game in a win over Gardner-Webb.[4]

During his junior season, Norman again earned 1st team All-Big South. He ranked fifth on the team with 56 tackles and 3rd in the Big South with 9 pass defenses. He also recorded another blocked field goal, bringing him one shy of the Coastal Carolina record. In 2011, Norman was a preseason All-American and All-Big South conference as well as being listed as one of the top 10 defensive backs for 2011 by The Sporting Network. Additionally, he was voted onto the 2011 AFCA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' All-America Team. For his college career, Norman tied for second in Coastal Carolina history with 11 career interceptions and pass breakups with 23.[4]

Norman graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a communications major and dramatic arts minor.[6]

Professional career[edit]

On January 12, 2012, it was announced that Norman had accepted his invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game.[7] Norman was projected to be a late round pick at the end of his senior season, but began to climb draft boards after impressing scouts during East-West Shrine Game practices.[8] On January 21, 2012, Norman played in the 2012 East-West Shrine Game and was part of the East team that lost 24-17 to the West. On January 26, 2012, Norman accepted an invitation to play in the 2012 Senior Bowl as a late-replacement after Alfonzo Dennard sustained an injury.[9] Norman continued to impress coaches and scouts by intercepting six passes during Senior Bowl practices, although he was a late-replacement and had minimal time to practice with his team.[10] On January 28, 2012, he played in the 2012 Senior Bowl as part of Minnesota Vikings’ head coach Leslie Frazier’s North team that defeated the South 23-13.

External video
Josh Norman’s NFL Combine Workout

He attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and completed all of the combine drills. His mediocre performance in the 40-yard dash (4.66s) possibly resulted in a fall in his draft stock.[11] On March 27, 2012, Norman participated at Coastal Carolina’s pro day and chose to perform combine and positional drills. He improved his time in the 40-yard dash (4.57s), 20-yard dash (2.63s), and three-cone drill (6.92s).[12] Norman attended a pre-draft visit with the Detroit Lions.[13] It was reported that team representatives and scouts from 27 NFL teams attended Coastal Carolina’s pro day.[14] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Norman’s draft projections varied from as early as the third round to as late as the seventh round by NFL draft experts and scouts. The majority of NFL draft experts projected Norman to be a third or fourth round pick. He was ranked the eighth best cornerback prospect in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, was ranked the 10th best cornerback by Scouts Inc., was ranked the 28th best cornerback by CBS Sports, and was ranked the 29th best cornerback in the draft by DraftScout.com.[15][16]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 14 in
(1.84 m)
197 lb
(89 kg)
32 34 in
(0.83 m)
9 14 in
(0.23 m)
4.66 s 1.59 s 2.72 s 4.23 s 7.09 s 33 in
(0.84 m)
10 ft 4 in
(3.15 m)
14 reps
All values from NFL Combine[17] or Coastal Carolina Pro Day[18]

Carolina Panthers[edit]

The Carolina Panthers selected Norman in the fifth round (143rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.[19] Norman was the 14th cornerback drafted in 2012 and became only the third player to be drafted from Coastal Carolina, after Tyler Thigpen (2007) and Jerome Simpson (2008).[20][21]

2012 season[edit]

On May 10, 2012, the Carolina Panthers signed Norman to a four-year, $2.30 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $199,500.[22]

Norman with the Panthers in 2013

Throughout training camp, Norman competed to be a starting cornerback against Captain Munnerlyn and Brandon Hogan.[23] Head coach Ron Rivera named Norman and Chris Gamble the starting cornerbacks to begin the regular season.[24]

He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Carolina Panthers’ at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and recorded four combined tackles during their 16–10 loss. In Week 3, he collected a season-high 11 combined tackles (eight solo) and a pass deflection during a 36–7 loss to the New York Giants. Norman became a focal point of the secondary after the Carolina Panthers placed Chris Gamble on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury on October 22, 2012.[25] On October 28, 2012, Norman recorded five combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception in the Panthers’ 23-22 loss at the Chicago Bears in Week 8. Norman intercepted a pass by Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler, that was originally intended for wide receiver Brandon Marshall, during the first quarter.[26] Norman began to struggle towards the end of his rookie season and was eventually surpassed on the depth chart by Josh Thomas and was relegated to a backup cornerback beginning in Week 14. In Week 15, Norman was surpassed on the depth chart by James Dockery and became the fourth cornerback on the depth chart.[27] He finished his rookie season in 2012 with 73 combined tackles (52 solo), seven pass deflections, and one interception in 16 games and 12 starts.[28]

2013 season[edit]

During training camp, Norman competed against Drayton Florence and Josh Thomas for a job as a starting cornerback.[29] Head coach Ron Rivera named Norman the third cornerback on the depth chart to begin the regular season, behind Captain Munnerlyn and Josh Thomas.[30]

“Apparently, Josh Norman didn't play it. It's a critical situation. You get a communication. You see you have the switch and you fall off looking for the No. 2 receiver to run the No. 7 like he did. You'd like to believe when the call is made you execute the call and you're in position to make the play."[31]

Ron Rivera
(Regarding Norman’s mistake against the Buffalo Bills)

On September 15, 2013, Norman collected a season-high four combined tackles during the Panthers’ 24–23 loss at the Buffalo Bills. During the fourth quarter, Buffalo Bills’ quarterback E. J. Manuel threw a two-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Stevie Johnson after a miscommunication between Josh Norman and cornerback D. J. Moore. Moore stated he called for Norman to switch and cover Johnson as Moore covered wide receiver Chris Hogan.[32] Norman stated he didn’t hear Moore call for a switch. As a result of the mistake, Norman was effectively benched for the majority of the season. Head coach Ron Rivera benched Norman for three games (Weeks 5–7) as a healthy scratch.[33] He was demoted to being the fifth cornerback on the depth chart behind Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Thomas, Melvin White, and Drayton Florence.[34] Norman was inactive for six of the next nine games (Weeks 9–10, 14–17) as a healthy scratch.[35] Norman finished the 2013 NFL season with four combined tackles (three solo) in seven games and zero starts.[28]

2014 season[edit]

Despite losing Captain Munnerlyn in free agency to the Minnesota Vikings as well as Drayton Florence, Norman was not considered the team's first option to start opposite Melvin White to begin the year.[36] Throughout training camp, Norman competed for a roster spot as a backup cornerback against Josh Thomas and James Dockery.[37][38] He maintained a roster spot after a strong preseason, but was named the fifth cornerback on the depth chart behind Melvin White, Antoine Cason, Bené Benwikere, and Charles Godfrey.[39]

In Week 5, Norman earned his first start of the season, over Melvin White, and recorded three combined tackles in the Panthers’ 31–24 win against the Chicago Bears. Norman suffered a concussion during the game and was sidelined for the next two games (Weeks 6–7).[40] In Week 8, Norman became a starting cornerback after surpassing Melvin White and Antoine Cason on the depth chart. On November 16, 2014, Norman collected a season-high seven combined tackles and deflected a pass during a 19–17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11. His success facilitated the Panthers to release Cason on December 2, 2015. Norman began to show his potential as a shutdown corner in the second half of the 2014 season while continually covering the opposing team’s top receiver. In Week 10, Norman held Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to three catches for 38-yards and no touchdowns. The following week, he held Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones to six receptions for 59-yards and no touchdowns. In Week 15, Norman held rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans to two catches for 13-yards and no touchdowns. On December 21, 2014, Norman recorded five combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made an interception during a 17–13 win against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16. He held Browns’ wide receiver Josh Gordon to four catches for 45-yards.[41] Over the final eight weeks of the season, Norman was rated as the 27th best cornerback by Pro Football Focus and gave up only 13 receptions on 33 targets.[42] He finished the season with 48 combined tackles (36 solo), 11 pass deflections, two interceptions, and a forced fumble in 14 games and ten starts.[28][43] For the season, Norman was targeted 58 times, but only allowed 27 catches for 291 yards and just 74 yards after the catch. The 46.6% catch rate was second best in the NFL among starters behind only Vontae Davis.[44]

The Carolina Panthers finished first in the NFC South with a 7–8–1 record and earned a playoff berth. On January 3, 2015, Norman started his first career playoff game and recorded four combined tackles as the Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-16 in the NFC Wildcard Game. Norman gave up only one reception for nine-yards during the game.[45] The following week, the Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs after a 31-17 loss at the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional Round.

2015 season[edit]

In 2015, Norman picked up where he left off from the 2014 season. During the season opening victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Norman was thrown at nine times, allowed just three completions for five yards, and managed to force a fumble and collect a pick-six against quarterback Blake Bortles.[46] Norman followed this up during the Panthers week 2 victory over the Houston Texans where he allowed just 40 yards in coverage on 12 attempts, no first down receptions, while helping to limit DeAndre Hopkins to five receptions and 53 yards for the game.[47] The following week, Norman sealed a 27–22 win against the New Orleans Saints after an interception in the end zone on a pass by Luke McCown intended for Brandin Cooks with a minute remaining in the game.[48] Through the first three weeks of the season, the only two cornerbacks who were targeted 20 or more times and had not allowed a pass for more than 16 yards were Norman and teammate Bené Benwikere.[49] Further, through that span, Norman did not allow 50 yards receiving in a game and quarterbacks generated a 38.8 passer rating when throwing in his direction.[43] For his efforts, Norman was named the NFC’s defensive player of the month for September.[50] The following week, in a 37–24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Norman became the first cornerback since Charles Woodson in 2008 with 2 INT-TDs in the first 4 weeks of a season.[51] Against the Buccaneers, Norman was targeted 8 times and allowed only two receptions for 31 yards, while recording 2 interceptions and 2 pass defenses. Further, Jameis Winston had a 3.6 quarterback passer rating when targeting Norman.[52] He was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance.[53]

Through the first four weeks of the season, Norman had been targeted 35 times and allowed a 42.9% completion percentage for 129 yards to go along with 4 interceptions. During this time, opposing quarterbacks recorded a 23.1 quarterback passer rating when targeting Norman, which ranked first in the NFL above Darrelle Revis, who allowed a 23.9 quarterback passer rating when targeted during this same time.[44] During a Week 6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Norman was only targeted twice for –2 yards both on screen passes.[54] After the game Norman said of Russell Wilson, "He was the smartest quarterback we've played so far this year because of that."[55]

Through the first six weeks of the season, Norman allowed just 46 percent of those 37 passes to be caught and opposing passers throwing his way had a passer rating of just 24.1, the best mark in the NFL. Additionally, he allowed just 17 receptions for 127 yards (7.5 per catch).[56] During the Panthers Week 7 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Norman recorded 3 tackles, 2 pass deflections and gave up 1 catch for 3 yards in coverage.[57] Through the first 7 weeks, Norman graded as PFF's best cornerback in the NFL.[58] Norman went up against T. Y. Hilton during a rainy Monday night victory over the 2015 Indianapolis Colts season. He gave up only one catch on three targets for 15 yards. After the game Norman said "I was the Dark Knight today -- I was Batman. ... Had to come in and save a couple people."[59] During the Panthers' 44–16 victory over the Washington Redskins to move them to 10–0, Norman had 4 solo tackles and forced a key fumble.[60] During the Panthers' 33–14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Norman shadowed Dez Bryant on Bryant's 43 snaps on the perimeter and limited him to one catch for 6 yards.[61] During the Panthers Week 14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, when matched up with Julio Jones, Norman limited him to four catches on six targets for 33 yards.[62] Over the first 14 weeks of the season, Norman held DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans, T. Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant, and Julio Jones to a combined 9 receptions for 89 yards.

During the Panthers' Week 15 game, which resulted in a 38–35 victory over the New York Giants, Norman had a high-profile contest with receiver Odell Beckham Jr.. During the game, Norman was targeted 6 times when matched up with Beckham and gave up 4 receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown. Tempers flared between the two players with Norman committing 2 personal fouls and Beckham committing 3 personal fouls, which included a hit to the head of a defenseless Norman that later resulted in a 1-game suspension for Beckham.[63][64] Norman was selected for his first career Pro Bowl during the season. On December 23, 2015, Norman was fined a combined $26,044 for a face mask penalty, and for striking an opponent in the head against the Giants. During the final game of the regular season, Norman held Mike Evans to 15 yards from 1 catch on 5 targets.

For the season, opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of 54.0 when throwing at Norman, the lowest rating allowed by all NFL corners. Norman recorded 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, 4 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and helped the Panthers win a team-record 15 games for the 2015 season. In the Divisional round against the Seattle Seahawks, Norman recorded 5 tackles and 1 sack. He helped the Panthers defeat the Seahawks 31–24. In the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals, Norman recorded 2 tackles and 2 passes defended as the Panthers defeated the Cardinals 49–15 to advance to Super Bowl 50. In the Super Bowl, Norman recorded 2 tackles and 2 passes defensed.[65] However, the Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10.[66]

Norman was named First-team All-Pro for the 2015 season and was ranked 11th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[67]

On April 20, 2016, the Panthers rescinded their franchise tag placed on Norman after he and the team failed to come to an agreement on a long term deal, making him an unrestricted free agent.[68]

Washington Redskins[edit]

2016 season[edit]

Norman covering Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, Dez Bryant, in 2017.

On April 22, 2016, two days after his release from the Panthers, Norman signed a five-year, $75 million deal with the Washington Redskins.[69][70] The contract made him the highest paid cornerback in NFL history at the time, surpassing the contract Darrelle Revis signed with the New York Jets in 2015.[71] During the team's training camp, Norman announced that he would appear regularly during that season's Fox NFL broadcast.[72][73] In Week 3, Norman faced off against Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants, which generated media attention due to their previous controversial matchup in 2015.[74] He recorded his first interception as a Redskin against quarterback Cody Kessler in the Week 4 win over the Cleveland Browns.[75] In a Week 16 win against the Chicago Bears, he recorded two interceptions on quarterback Matt Barkley.[76] He started in every game during the season, finishing with 67 tackles, 19 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions. After the season, he was ranked as the 59th best player by his peers in the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.[77]

2017 season[edit]

In the Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Rams, Norman forced a fumble off of running back Todd Gurley. The fumble set up the Redskins' offense on an eventual field goal scoring drive in the 27–20 victory.[78] During a Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Norman suffered injuries to his lung lining and a fractured rib after tackling wide receiver Chris Conley in the second quarter.[79][80] Norman did not return to the game, and was ruled out for a few weeks following further examination after the game.[81]

2018 season[edit]

Norman making an interception against the Carolina Panthers in 2018.

In Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints, Norman was benched after allowing a 62-yard touchdown reception to Tre'Quan Smith, but eventually came back in the second half as the Redskins lost the game 43–19.[82][83] In Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers, his former team, Norman intercepted quarterback Cam Newton and forced a fumble off of rookie wide receiver D. J. Moore. In Week 10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he intercepted quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in a 16-3 win. Three weeks later, Norman recorded an interception against quarterback Carson Wentz in a 28-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, his third interception of the season.[84]

Personal life[edit]

During his time with the Redskins, Norman has appeared in several local car dealership commercials, alongside former teammate Kirk Cousins and current teammate Ryan Kerrigan.[85][86][87] In September 2017, Norman donated US$100,000 to the recovery efforts following the devastation Puerto Rico received after Hurricane Maria impacted the island earlier that month.[88]

In April 2018, Norman was announced as one of the celebrities to compete on season 26 of the American television show Dancing with the Stars.[89][90] He was partnered with professional dancer Sharna Burgess, where he eventually progressed to the finals, finishing as the runner-up behind figure skater Adam Rippon.[91][92] During the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game event week, Norman participated in a televised celebrity softball game.[93]

References[edit]

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  89. ^ "Adam Rippon, Tonya Harding and more superstar athletes to face-off in Dancing With the Stars season 26". ABC News.
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  91. ^ "Adam Rippon Wins 'Dancing With The Stars' Because It Was Destined". Huffington Post.
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