The Washington Redskins did not task Josh Norman with following Antonio Brown around the field in Week 1, and the Pittsburgh Steelers wideout burned them for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Despite that, Washington is not changing its approach this week.
NFL Network reporters Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo said Sunday that Norman will not be shadowing Dallas Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant. The Redskins reportedly feel No. 2 cornerback Bashaud Breeland is a very good player, and they don’t want to bail on their defensive scheme after one game and hurt his confidence.
“It’s a little bit too early to say, ‘OK, let’s match (Norman) up on the best receiver because Breeland gave up a couple of catches to Antonio Brown for (heaven’s) sake,’” Washington coach Jay Gruden told Garafolo. “I like where (Norman) is at. If there’s a specific time or play or part of the game where we can match up, we can do that. But Breeland was here the last two years, and he had to cover (Bryant) before and he’s done pretty well against him.”
Prior to Sunday’s game, Norman bragged to ESPN’s Ed Werder about how he owns the left side of the field.
Josh Norman to me: “My office is on the left side, hours are 1 to 4. You can make an appointment, check in and I will see about you.”
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) September 18, 2016
Bryant already said a lot without saying much at all when he made this comment about Washington’s defense against Brown last week. The Redskins are paying Norman $15 million per year, but they must be looking at the way the Seattle Seahawks use Richard Sherman and trying to duplicate that. In reality, their defense isn’t good enough to do that. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Norman do more shadowing as the season goes on.