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!
Norman and Smith, of course, are both former Carolina Panthers. They have never really faced each other in an actual game, as Norman wasn't a key player for Carolina when they played Baltimore in 2014 -- Smith's first season with the team. However, there has always been a bit of tension between the two players that we could see manifest on the field Sunday when the Redskins face the Ravens.
It all started in 2012, Norman's rookie season, when he bragged about his "shutdown" coverage in OTA's. "He'd throw his hands in the air," Norman said of Smith. "He'd have a couple words."
Unfortunately for Norman, he failed to realize that veterans who have nothing to prove like Pro Bowl WR Steve Smith, don't play full speed in OTA's. "Once late July, August comes, he's going to learn very quickly this isn't Coastal Carolina," then-teammate Steve Smith said in return.
The wild thing is, this developing feud doesn't even end there. Just nine months ago, Steve Smith went on ESPN and discussed the top cornerbacks in the NFL. When Norman was mentioned, Smith rolled his eyes and said: "He's a good player, he's not a great player." This, of course, coming after Norman received a Pro Bowl nod and All-Pro First team honors. "I say he's not a great player because of longevity. This is his fourth year in the league. This is his first year starting 16 games."
He has a point there. Steve Smith is a 16 year vet who is still playing at a high level. But his analysis didn't end there. "He [Norman] also plays with phenomenal linebackers, a defensive line that's unbelievable and a secondary," Smith added. "So he is not the only reason or the sole reason that defensively, collectively they [Panthers] are awesome." Smith went on to name his top five corners and the list did not include Josh Norman.
Apparently the Panthers agreed with Smith as they abruptly cut the corner a few months later, allowing Washington to purchase an early Christmas gift. Although, Falcons' WR Julio Jones may have a rebuttal considering he just put up 300 yards on Carolina last week -- but that's another story.
Steve Smith may be the pettiest player of all time. He forgets nothing and uses small things as fuel. It's what has made him a future Hall Of Fame receiver. So Norman better be careful on Sunday. Either way, I think this will be a battle worth paying admission to see.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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