ASHBURN - Things turned upside down for Josh Norman this summer, and as the coverage surrounding his every word increases, the new Redskins cornerback knows what to expect. The latest batch of bulletin board material came from an ESPN the Magazine article in which Norman proclaimed, among other things, that he's the best corner in the league. Asked about those comments on Tuesday, Norman did not want to discuss it.
"I’m not about to answer any questions about it right now," Norman said in a media scrum. "I think at a later date those questions will be asked, but right now something that was done five months ago, I really don’t feel like talking about after our practice today."
Though Norman didn't comment on the specifics in the article, the conversation turned around to the new spotlight the Redskins $75 million player lives under.
"When you get a deal like that, everything comes with it," he said. "Everything’s magnified times 10."
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Norman explained that for his whole career - from a late-round draft pick to a backup to an All-Pro - he always felt like he had to earn his spot, though that role has changed.
"Once I was the underdog and I had to fight my way up to the top. I had to like drive, drive, drive, drive and continue to work hard and do everything that I’ve gotten to this point. But now, I’m no longer the underdog. Now I’m no longer that person. Now I am the guy that has to take on a new face, has to take on a new mask and be somebody that is always going to be the standard."
Changing roles will not be too much for Norman to handle.
"That’s something that I haven’t experienced yet and now taking that challenge and looking at it, I want to do it in a way I want to do it and not no way nobody else wants to make me do it. I think that, in an aspect, I just have to grow in that field, which I will. Those things come and I just got to understand that, but still have that dog when you’re on the football field."
Norman said that his faith helps him handle challenges, and pushes him to get through tough times.
"I can take it. I can go and use it and use it as another tool to try to find myself as a person and as an individual player to come in and bring something different. I think if I can have that unique set of tools and skills to be able to fend off everything that people say, I can take it. I can take it and continue to be successful."
For Redskins fans, as long as Norman is successful on the field, the headlines and increased exposure will be fun distractions.
"I can take it. I’m a big boy. I got some big shoes. We’ll be having fun with it and enjoying our teammates that’s on the team now."