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Why a ‘quiet’ camp could be the key to Josh Norman’s success

Why a ‘quiet’ camp could be the key to Josh Norman’s success

Training camp for Redskins cornerback Josh Norman began with a friendly jab from his head coach Jay Gruden: "I'm not worried about a bull hitting him, he avoids contact."

Norman had a very active off-season as he flew with the Blue Angels and participated in multiple charity endeavors, but his running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain garnered the most attention. 

“Yeah that is true – I’m sure he wasn’t’ concerned because I do avoid contact," Norman said. "Just like I avoided OTA’s. It’s a contact sport, so I didn’t get hurt.”  

It’s worth mentioning that players aren't required to attend off-season OTA’s, and Norman was at mandatory camp where he picked off rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.; the play was ruled out of bounds but Norman ran it back for a "100-yard touchdown." The player/coach relationship, rooted in trash talking, continued to shine as Gruden then asked a referee to throw a flag on Norman so he could mess with him.  

Fast forward to day four of camp and Norman is showing that an eventful off-season did not interfere with his on-field production.  The $75 million man had a pair of interceptions on day one and attributed it to him just him helping the team.

“If I see ball I get ball, really," Norman said. "I just come out here and do my job and have fun with the game. I've done so much up to now, so I just come back and live in the moment.”

A big part of enjoying the moments for Norman is embracing the fans as he's always one of the last players to leave the field, signing every autograph he possibly can; He attributes that to camp being "quiet."

“Guys are actually working, you can see it. It doesn’t have to be overbearing, it doesn’t have to be a ra-ra thing," Norman said. "It’s just good work, solid execution, and we have that."

"This has been a great training camp so far. It’s been off to a good start, we don’t have any injuries, just a couple hamstrings here and there but we’ve been blessed so far.”

Norman went through the 2017 season without an interception, but snagged three last year.  He now enters year four of his five-year contract and says any personal goals don’t matter if the team doesn’t make the playoffs.

Norman also believes that the addition of pro-bowl safety Landon Collins, and new defensive backs coach, Ray Horton, is huge for them.

“He’s [Horton] played the game, and has so many teams under his belt where he’s coached," Norman said.  "He's seen it all, so when you get a guy like that you want to soak things up like a sponge."

"He’s not overbearing, he’s not pressing, he’s just welcoming and inviting to you being all you can be, and when you got that you want to run through a brick wall for the guy.”

The Redskins have not made the post season while Norman has been in D.C., but it’s a new year and Norman says from offense to defense all seem to understand.

“We are teammates and we have one common goal and that’s to win it all.”

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Greg Manusky is back, but what about the rest of the Redskins coaching staff?

Greg Manusky is back, but what about the rest of the Redskins coaching staff?

The Redskins made some very public overtures to other defensive coordinator candidates, but on Wednesday news emerged that incumbent Greg Manusky would retain the job

That settles the biggest potential change in the Redskins coaching staff, as head coach Jay Gruden got word he would stay in his role a few weeks back

Washington's defensive performance didn't mandate that Manusky must go. In fact, this year's group played some of the best defense of any Redskins group for a while, at least early on. Things fell apart for the defense in the second half of the year, though. 

What is known is that Gruden and Manusky are back for 2019. What isn't will be what other changes happen. 

The Redskins already need a new special teams coordinator after Ben Kotwica took the same job with the Atlanta Falcons. That's one big hole. It could be filled by assistant special teams coach Bret Munsey, and some buzz has grown about Seahawks assistant special teams coach Larry Izzo as well. 

Elsewhere on the staff, there was speculation defensive backs coach Torrian Gray would be let go, but that hasn't happened. Inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti got permission to speak with the Packers about the same job, Grant Paulsen reported

Two of the most experienced coaches on the staff might bring the biggest questions, as reports have shown that Bill Callahan and Jim Tomsula might be on their way out from Redskins Park. 

Losing either coach would be a major blow. Callahan is an intense presence around the facility and is disciplined in his approach to offensive line play. The Redskins run game could use some work though, and Callahan has deep connections with Zac Taylor, who's expected to be the Bengals next head coach. 

Tomsula might be the most beloved coach on the staff.

The Redskins' young defensive linemen speak glowingly of 'Jim Tom' and would hate to lose their leader. At the same time, the group recognizes Tomsula has been away from his family and might want to get closer to them in Florida. Manusky and Tomsula are good friends, and the decision to keep the defensive coordinator could help keep the defensive line coach. 

Stay tuned.

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Sources: Jay Gruden officially told he will return as Redskins coach in 2019

Sources: Jay Gruden officially told he will return as Redskins coach in 2019

Jay Gruden has officially been told he will return to coach the Redskins In 2019, sources have informed NBC Sports Washington. 

Among many at Redskins Park this was the expectation for a few weeks. 

The Redskins ended the 2018 season with a 7-9 record, and limped to a 1-6 finish after a 6-3 start. 

For Gruden, this is the second straight season that the Redskins have been buried by significant injuries. In 2018, broken legs to both QBs Alex Smith and Colt McCoy really cost Washington a chance at a playoff spot. 

In five seasons with the Redskins, Gruden has a 35-44-1record and one NFC East title. He has two years remaining on his contact worth an estimated $10 million.

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