From the minute the Panthers drafted rookie Donte Jackson, the Josh Norman comparisons began. The loquacious cornerback out of LSU talked the talk, and from the Panthers pre-draft scouting, he appeared to walk the walk.
The speedster out of the bayou has snagged three interceptions in his first four games wearing the black and blue. Many fans felt the Panthers had finally replaced Josh Norman who was lost to free agency following the 2015 season during which the Panthers went 15-1 before falling to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Both players don’t mind getting into the heads of their opponents with a good amount of trash talk. According to Jackson, the comparisons stop there. With the Panthers set to face the Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field, the Josh Norman chatter began to pick up again. Quarterback Cam Newton, who had his own memorable scuffle with Norman, fielded questions from the media about his former teammate. When asked where Norman ranks on the trash talking list, Newton responded, “He’s loud.” According to Jackson, that’s where the comparisons stop.
“They tell me that we both talk a lot. A lot of the guys who have played with him and play with me, they don’t see a huge similarity. It’s just really the fact that we both talk a lot and that we both play cornerback really.”
James Bradberry, the other starting cornerback for the Panthers was drafted in 2016 so he did not have the chance to play with Norman. The Panthers limped to a 6-10 finish in 2016, many attributed the team’s struggles to losing Norman. This season, Bradberry, though not as talkative as Jackson and Norman, is etching a name for himself with solid performances against the league’s top receivers.
After being benched in the Redskins Monday Night Football drubbing at the hands of Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, Norman will be on the hunt for redemption come Sunday afternoon. Asked if Norman will be “extra motivated”, Newton answered, “I don’t know. I hope he ain’t motivated.”
The Redskins and the Panthers kick out at 1:00 PM EST on Sunday.