Josh Norman is having a rough 12 hours.
The Redskins cornerback was on the wrong end of several deep passes during the Saints' 43-19 steamroll of the Redskins in primetime, leading head coach Jay Gruden to bench the seven-year veteran for the second half of the matchup.
After Norman voiced postgame that he would "not waste my breath" commenting on Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas' actions throughout the game, Thomas took to Twitter for some good ol' fashioned subtweeting. The back and forth between the two continued into the morning in tweets that have since been deleted by Norman.
If that wasn't enough, former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall weighed in on Norman's night on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies simulcast on NBC Sports Washington and warned his former teammate to get back to the basics.
"Josh is, I think, in love with being a celebrity right now and not necessarily being a football player," Hall said. "And Josh needs to kind of refocus. Get back on the grind. Get back to the basics, technique-wise, and really work because he's not going to live off the reputation of being Josh Norman. Teams are starting to go at him and he's either going to have to make plays or somebody else is going to get an opportunity to play."
Hall is probably referring to Norman's spring appearance on 'Dancing with the Stars' and his contributions to FOX NFL SUNDAY and FOX NFL KICKOFF during the 2018 season.
"I think we've seen the coaching staff kind of take that approach. It's no coming back from being benched. That already happened. He knows it. The team knows it. The outside world knows it and so for him he has to, like I said, get focused on just playing football and playing to the best of his ability. 'Cause if not, it's going to be another guy in there getting those snaps."
Drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, Norman once led the NFL in takeaways and earned first-team All-Pro from the Associated Press and the Pro Football writers association on top of a Pro Bowl. But since signing with Washington back in 2016, Norman has just three interceptions and four forced fumbles.
"I'm not going to say he was never good here, but for what we want him to do in this defense, Josh probably wasn't the best fit," Hall added.
"He was a different kind of corner. Like when me and Richard Sherman got into it a couple years back. It was like 'Aye Sherm, you're good for what Seattle asks you to do, but if I were to take you and put you in, let's say my defense that makes me play man, and makes me go follow this guy and that guy, and play all sorts of coverages and actually play football and not just play a schemed up version of football then no, I don't think you're better than me for that. Are you better than me in Seattle's defense? Uh, maybe so. That's kind of what it was."
"Josh is a different kind of corner, man. He doesn't like to sit in there and press, sit and fight with his man at the line of scrimmage. He likes to bail. When you bail, you give up certain things. You're not going to be as quick at comeback routes, and curl routes and possession routes. But you tend to kick the deep ball off when you do that."
Being a 'different kind of corner' than what the Redskins want right now is what Hall believes got Norman benched for the first time in his career.
"I think what happened is, what led to Josh probably being benched, is Jay probably was like 'Look man, we can't keep giving up big plays' and the conversation probably went back and forth a little bit. I don't know. I wasn't in that locker room. But I would imagine that they weren't pleased with the way Josh was playing certain coverages. I know that DB coach. I know he probably felt like, 'Look Jay, I've tried to tell him to do it x-y-z. Josh wants to do it his way.' And Jay probably made the decision, look let's get this guy out of here. Let's get another guy in here who's going to do what we ask him to do and what we teach and kind of go from there."
The Redskins now have a short week to plan for Norman's former team, the Carolina Panthers.
How much of a role the cornerback will play Sunday when Cam Newton and co. come to town will be interesting to watch.
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