Joe Barry knew all about Josh Norman’s on-the-field prowess way before Washington entered the bidding for the former Carolina cornerback. 

What Barry didn’t know was the intensity with which Norman prepared off the field. But it wasn't long before the Redskins’ defensive coordinator found out.

“The story I always tell people is that we walked out of the building with Josh and his family about 10:30 on Friday night,” Barry said, referring to the night of April 22, a few hours after Norman signed a 5-year, $75 million contract at Redskins Park.

"He was going back to the airport to fly back home and I was like, ‘Okay bro, when do you think you’re going to make it back?'," Barry recalled.

Norman looked at Barry like he was crazy.


"He was like, 'What are you talking about? I will be back Sunday night and I will be in the building at 8:00 Monday morning to work.'" 

"So," Barry added. "That, to me, said a lot."

Barry continued: "He wasn’t one of those guys that said, 'Hey, I’ll get there when OTAs start.' He was literally there 48 hours later and in the building at 8:00 in the morning with his new teammates working with [strength coach [Mike] Clark."


At the time, the conditioning phase of the Redskins' offseason program was well underway. 

"We obviously see all of the clips on NFL Network and the plays that he makes on the field, but his true character is his work ethic, his passion," Barry said. "He wants to be great and he wants to make his teammates around him great. I think that is a huge attribute that he has that a lot of people don’t see."

On Tuesday, football analytics site named Norman as the NFL’s best acquisition of the offseason.