Jay Gruden explained that a halftime disagreement led to benching Josh Norman for the opening series in the second half of the Redskins one-sided loss in New Orleans.
Nobody knew what the disagreement was about, until now.
Kevin Sheehan, formerly of the Cooley & Kevin radio show on The Team 980 and now hosting his own podcast, reported that during halftime Norman put on headphones while the coaches addressed the team. The story continues that Norman was asked to take the headphones off, and he either did not hear the request or refused the request. At that point, the headphones were removed for him. (Listen to the full audio here)
On the surface level, the story checks out.
Gruden made clear that Norman wasn't benched for his play, despite a blown coverage that led to a long touchdown pass just before halftime.
Speaking on the Redskins Talk podcast earlier in the week, Gruden explained:
"It wasn’t all Josh. We had blown coverages all across the land. It was just something between Josh and I at halftime that I needed to cool him down for a bit. So I did for a series."
Headphones or not, the Redskins need to turn the page and focus on the Panthers. Carolina comes to FedEx Field with a 3-1 record and one of the most physical presences in the game with Cam Newton. On top of that, the Panthers haven't lost to the Redskins since 2006, and Newton has a perfect 4-0 record against Washington.
Norman needs to play better, and perhaps Gruden believes the ugly Saints loss can be a wake-up call: "Josh is one of our best players on this football team. We need more from Josh, we need more from DJ, we need more from Montae, we need more from Alex, we need more from myself. We need more from everybody, I think we’ll get it."
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