Morning Manny: Josh Norman Has Been Superb

The Washington Redskins' prize free agent signing Josh Norman has exceeded expectations so far this season.

Manny Benton often tweets random thoughts regarding the Washington Redskins at random times of the day that typically bring interesting dialog. Now from Monday through Thursday at around 9 a.m., you can find those Twitter-sized thoughts in "Morning Manny." Complete with explanations! 

Josh Norman has been better than advertised

The Washington Redskins have a long history of failed big money free agent signings. However, so far, they appear to have got it right when they signed former Carolina Panthers CB Josh Norman to a 5-year, $75 million deal this offseason. According to Pro Football Focus, Norman is the only starting CB so far this season with more passes defended (4) than catches allowed (3). Norman has been superb and in all honesty has surpassed my personal expectations.

The former fifth round pick out of Coastal Carolina experienced the best season of his then four year career last season. Norman (28) was rewarded with both All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Yet, Carolina abruptly released the corner after conceding that a long-term deal wasn't going to happen. It was one of the oddest moves you'll see in a league that puts a premium on players that affect the passing game.

Even I was skeptical of Washington signing an abandoned corner who will turn 29 in December. Many wondered if Norman's success was truly attributed to Carolina's scheme and talented front 7 on defense. But so far, he's proving those notions to be false. Not only is Norman playing at a high level in coverage, but he may actually be maturing into an even better corner this season.

What's stood out to me about Norman is how much of a technician he is at the position. He understands how to play the game of leverage and doesn't allow many passing windows. He's also shown improvement flashing great physicality by not being afraid to run uphill and make tackles. Not to mention, after two weeks, he continues to show that game changing ability of creating turnovers. 

But what's most impressive is watching how the fifth-year corner has handled himself on and off the field. He's a true leader on this team. Whether true or false, he's known for having a personality that rubs some people the wrong way. However, I've been impressed with the way he's carried himself so far this season. Especially considering the early drama surrounded around him shadowing an opponent's top receiver. Norman is also often the last player off the practice field.

Norman is known as a guy who isn't afraid to speak his mind. I like the fact that he's distance himself from making any headline complaints about not shadowing a team's top receiver. Although, it appeared that Washington made an in-game decision at some point Week Two against the Dallas Cowboys to have Norman shadow star WR Dez Bryant.

Even after that decision, Norman took it in stride without making things all about himself. "I’m asked to do what I am asked to do," he said. "When the coaches ask me to do something, I’m going to do it to the full extent of it of my abilities, and I’m going to get the job done and execute flawlessly and that’s what I did." 

It's becoming more and more evident that Josh Norman is maturing in front of our eyes. Despite Washington's team struggles, Norman has indeed been a bright spot.

You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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