But Norman has evidently realized that the attention paid to a $75 million player in Washington might be a bit different than what he previously faced in Carolina.
“I get that scrutiny everywhere I go,” Norman said this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan, when asked about the change. “All eyes [are] magnified times 10 now. So everything I do, everything I say, pretty much everything when I line up on the field — everything is always scrutinized. So to know that — and to understand when I’m going in there to try to do the best I can — [I can’t] really worry about what other people say. Because they’re always going to have their opinions. The only thing that matters is mine, and what I do.”
And the scrutiny, Norman said, is not the only change during his move north. The cornerback also said Redskins practices were a bit more relaxed than those in Carolina.
“A Ron [Rivera] practice, I know that it’s gonna be full pads, full-tilt,” Norman said. “They’re smashing at the goal-line-type stuff. Here, it’s more-so getting that good work with the wide receivers and the cornerbacks, predicated off of the script. I think we run more of a two-minute situation here, and situational game-time plays more than anything else. We do full pads, but it’s all predicated off what Coach wants.
“Not saying one is better than the other,” Norman added. “One can wear you out, and one can keep you reserved and keep you fresh for the season. I don’t know; I only know one way that was there. Now coming here, it’s a little bit different. It’s more relaxed. But like I said, that could be a good thing as well. I don’t know.”
Norman also talked about his much-discussed one-on-one matchups with Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, saying “it’s awesome every time you can step up to the plate and get challenged and not win every one, but lose, and then come back and figure out how did you lose.
“When you have a challenge like that, man, that’s only growth for you to get better,” he said. “I don’t want to step to the line and win every single one. Like, how is that going to get me better? How is that going to improve my game? If I get beat, I’m trying to figure out how I got beat, and I’m trying to correct that, so going up to the line, it don’t happen again. That’s pretty much what any player that’s trying to elevate their game is gonna want. You don’t want to win every single one. You want to see if somebody can overtake you. And these guys out here are doing that.”
Those matchups are also exciting Norman’s coaches. I chatted with Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry on Monday, and he couldn’t stop talking about how much the team has benefited from the intensity of the Jackson-Norman matchups.
“Josh Norman going against D-Jack every single day, it’s awesome,” Barry said. “I mean, DeSean Jackson, he is unbelievable right now. Now he’s a great player, he’s been a great player his whole career, but I [attribute] that to hey, we brought Josh Norman in here. And D-Jack, when he walks out on the field every day, he’s like [heck], I’m going against No. 24, I’ve got to up my game. That’s why competition is awesome.”