It doesn't take long to realize just how much Josh Norman loves football. Whenever he speaks, whether on his teammates or the heated rivalry with Odell Beckham Jr., the Washington Redskins' cornerback exudes so much passion and love for the game. Friday's press conference on Day Two of training camp was no exception. It's no wonder he quickly earned great respect from his new teammates.
The All-Pro is headed into his fifth season of professional football. Norman enters this campaign as one of the highest paid players in football after his massive contract with the Redskins. However, even after receiving a five-year, $75 million deal, Norman hasn't lost his focus.
"I don't even feel like I got the money, to be honest with you," he said. "I'm still working."
Those words are easy to say. Walking the walking is next level. The head coach believes that won't be an issue.
"When you go out and land a free agent of his caliber with the success that [Josh] had in Carolina and with the playmaking ability that he has and the leadership qualities that he has, it’s only going to help your football team," Jay Gruden said Thursday.
Norman helped the quote-gathering faction with his thoughts on:
New partner-in-crime, Bashaud Breeland: "[He can be the] best once he puts his mind to it. Once he develops that confidence, swagger about him to where no one can beat him, he'll be just fine.
On his new training camp rival, DeSean Jackson, who burned the corner a couple of times in Thursday's practice. Norman dealt with a speed receiver in Carolina, but Ted Ginn Jr. isn't in Jackson's class.
"He's elite," Norman said of Jackson. "He's like flash out there -- elusiveness is off the charts."
As the saying goes, "iron sharpens iron" and being able to practice against a guy like Jackson is only going to make Norman better. That's huge considering what's on tap for the season. It starts with Antonio Brown in Week 1 when Washington hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then there are the two matchups with Beckham, who has talked plenty about Norman this offseason.
"I guess if a guy talks about you that much, you must be doing something right," Norman cracked.Actually, he cracked himself up just thinking about the Giants receiver that he laughed for a good 15 seconds just at the very mention of Beckham's name.
"He's talking about me, I'm not talking about him," Norman exclaimed.
I think it's safe to say the entire nation has Week 3 circled on their calendar to watch Norman and Beckham face off in New York. Until then, the Redskins corner will put in the work, his own passion play.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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