Josh Norman has been known to display a knack for mirroring the movements of opposing wide receivers, and now he’ll get a chance to work with an actual dance partner, on the same team, no less. The Redskins cornerback has reportedly been tapped to compete on the latest season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
That’s according to “Entertainmant Tonight,” which claimed Thursday that Norman was the latest to join the cast of the popular TV series, which debuted in 2005 and will feature an athletes-only lineup for Season 26. Others who have reportedly signed on include three Winter Olympians — Tonya Harding, Adam Rippon and Jamie Anderson — plus former softball star Jennie Finch, with the full group of 10 announced Friday.
Norman, 30, also joins a long line of NFL players who have competed on “DWTS,” often with great success, giving him a high standard to match. Previous winners on the show have included Emmitt Smith (Season 3), Hines Ward (12), Donald Driver (14) and Rashad Jennings (24), with Jerry Rice (2), Jason Taylor (6), Warren Sapp (7) coming in second and Jacoby Jones (16) and Calvin Johnson (23) third.
In addition to solid coverage skills — Pro Football Focus credits him with the third-lowest catch rate allowed among cornerbacks since 2013 — Norman has gained national attention for testy confrontations with opposing receivers, most notably Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant. His willingness to mix it up physically and verbally was likely among the factors that made him attractive to the “DWTS” producers.
“Josh is a total loose cannon!” ET reported it was told by a source about Norman. “No one ever knows what’s going to come out of his mouth! He’s really funny and competitive and loves the camera.”
“If he doesn’t agree with a score the judges give him, you can definitely expect him to share a piece of his mind,” the source added. “He’s going to be a lot of fun to watch this season.”
Norman didn’t seem to having a lot of fun last season when the Redskins went 7-9 in his second year in Washington, having come over from Carolina as a high-priced free agent. After a loss to the Chargers in December, he suggested that he was being misused by his coaches, describing the situation as “devastating,” and he said in January it was “frustrating” to see attendance wane for his weekly get-togethers for defensive players, which he felt hurt the unit’s chemistry.
For his part, Norman’s individual numbers fell off last season, as he failed to record an interception for the first time in five seasons and was in single digits in passes defensed for the first time in four seasons. But with his reported addition to the “DWTS” cast, the 2015 Pro Bowler has a chance to notch at least one successful 2018 season before Redskins training camp even gets underway.
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