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Redskins true or false: Josh Norman will repeat as an All-Pro

Redskins true or false: Josh Norman will repeat as an All-Pro

Last year Josh Norman was a first-team All-Pro cornerback, meaning that in the judgment of the voters he was one of the two best corners in the game. This offseason he became one of the very few players who earned such honors to change teams. Will he make the All-Pro team again this year? Tandler and Tarik take a look.

Tarik: False

Let me begin by saying that I think signing Norman was the right move for the Redskins. He instantly becomes the team’s best player on defense, he’s in his prime years (28 years old) and figures to shore up a great area of need on a unit that yielded a combined 65 passing touchdowns the past two seasons and sorely lacked a legit playmaker. He’ll also replace the swagger (there’s your favorite term Tandler!) on the backend that was lost when Chris Culliver went down.

Buuuuuuuut…I am wary of a couple of things. First, the Redskins’ defense, while on the upswing, it still doesn’t feature all the pieces that the Luke Kuechly-led Panthers boast (three first team All-Pros and a second teamer). Second, although Norman says his adjustment to Joe Barry’s scheme has been a seamless one this spring, it still takes a while to get comfortable with everything, especially with the players around you, which is especially critical in the secondary. What I’m saying here is that I anticipate Norman will be better in Weeks 4 and 5 than he is in Weeks 1 and 2. So, in summary, I think Norman will have a very good year. I think he’ll be a difference maker and will give the Redskins their money’s worth. I’m just not sure he’ll be able to attain the elite status he enjoyed in 2015 as a key cog in a star-laded lineup.  

Tandler: True

One factor that gives you a big boost when it comes to making All-Pro is having been All-Pro the year before. You are fresh in the minds of the voters and often all you really have to do is not fall flat on your face to get consideration for a repeat appearance on the elite list. That doesn’t mean that Norman is an automatic to repeat but he does check that important box.

Another factor that is important is team success. Of the 27 players named first-team All-Pro (including specialists) last year only nine were on teams that did not make the playoffs. Only three were on teams with double-digit losses. Although it’s supposed to be an individual honor team success is important. Chances are the Redskins will be successful enough to give Norman a shot.

As Tarik points out, the other 10 players on Carolina’s defense helped Norman earn the All-Pro nod and that is an important factor. And while the Redskins’ other 10 players probably are not as good as the 10 Panthers who surrounded Norman last year it doesn’t really matter. A cornerback’s best friend is a pass rush and with Junior Galette, Preston Smith, Ryan Kerrigan, and a few others up front I think that Norman can expect to see plenty of hurried throws, giving him enough interception opportunities to earn a repeat nod on enough All-Pro Ballots.

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Adrian Peterson continues surprising run in Redskins' win over Cowboys

Adrian Peterson continues surprising run in Redskins' win over Cowboys

LANDOVER, Md. -- With 22 starters comprising offensive and defensive players, plus another faction handling special teams, football is the ultimate team sport.

Now imagine where the 2018 Washington Redskins find themselves if the front office never brings in Adrian Peterson for that mid-preseason workout. Even Jamie Lee Curtis finds that frightening.

Peterson’s return to football glory continued with 99 rushing yards on 24 carries in Washington’s 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday evening.

“I won’t say we wouldn’t be as good in the run game, but, yeah,” left tackle Trent Williams said of his former University of Oklahoma teammate.

“Obviously having [Adrian], I won’t say it’s everything, but it’s almost everything,” Williams continued. His eyes widened as the Pro Bowl lineman pondered the potential downside of this offense without the future Hall of Famer. That’s a dark timeline.

Peterson’s Redskins career now spans six regular-season games. Sunday’s display of power in tight spaces and speed when daylight exists wasn’t a one-off. In those six games, Peterson rushed for at least 96 yards four times including the last two games despite playing with a painful shoulder.

“I’m feeling good, man, we just got a W,” the smiling running back said from behind the podium inside the media room at his newish home stadium. “That makes everything feel a lot better. I feel better than I did last week, I’ll say that.”

Washington felt concerned enough about its running attack following the second preseason game to scour the free agent market. Peterson arriving at Redskins Park in August generated the expected “Whoa” from the casual NFL fans, who picture the player hammering silly defenders daring to tackle him. That player no longer existed. At least that’s what many assumed.

Peterson last topped 1,000 yards or 4.0 yards per rush in 2015. Injuries and inefficiency headlined his 2017 stops in New Orleans and Arizona. Running backs capable of carrying an offense aren’t just lying around for the taking like a rogue penny on a sidewalk. Yet, there was Peterson, waiting for a team to show interest. After losing Derrius Guice with a season-ending knee injury and recognizing the in-house options were not enough, the Redskins called.

 “We didn’t have many expectations,” Jay Gruden said after the Redskins improved to 4-2 and took a 1 ½ game lead in the NFC East. “We weren’t expecting him to be on our football team until we had a couple of injuries. Then we got him. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know he looked great in that workout.”

That workout led to a signing and almost simultaneously, the starting gig. Now it’s hard contemplating anyone else in those early down and short yardage scenarios. Peterson had runs of 23 and 20 yards against the Cowboys. The latter help set up one of two Dustin Hopkins field goals. His overall production helped move the chains in yet another game where the Alex Smith-led passing game lacked oomph.

This random road to Redskins Park is why Peterson’s renaissance feels shocking to many with one significant exception.

“No, not at all. I think everyone else around is surprised. I’m not,” Peterson said. “I expect greatness from myself. That’s why I put the work in. God has blessed with me this talent. A lot of people see, and a lot of people don’t. … Just keep confidence in myself. When I’m presented with my opportunity, I’m going to take advantage of it every Sunday.”

Peterson is taking advantage of this opportunity with the Redskins because necessity is the mother of invention. It turns out Washington’s running attack needed a reboot more than the running back required a makeover.

“There are not many guys like [Adrian] walking around the street,” Williams said, “and luckily, we found a diamond in the rough.”

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Josh Norman rocks Bobby Boucher jersey following Redskins' win over Cowboys

Josh Norman rocks Bobby Boucher jersey following Redskins' win over Cowboys

Josh Norman just took the jersey game to a whole new level.

Prior to the Redskins' gutsy 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Norman showed up to FedEx Field repping a Bobby Boucher Bourbon Bowl jersey from the iconic Adam Sandler movie "The Waterboy." 

He also repped the jersey following the win in the locker room with the media.

Many believed it was a shot at Giants' Odell Beckham Jr., who made comments this week about disliking water. But according to Norman, he just really likes the South Central Louisiana Mud Dogs.

Norman is known for repping a soccer jersey or two following a game, but he has everyone else beat this week.