Carolina Panthers: Is Josh Norman Overrated?


Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White believes that Carolina Panthers corner Josh Norman is not one of the elite cover men in the NFL.

The Carolina Panthers may another tense matchup with an opposing wide receiver on Sunday. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White said that he believed that Panthers corner Josh Norman was overrated when asked his opinion about Norman in wake of the Odell Beckham incidents in last Sunday’s game.

According to reports from ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, White said that he believed that Norman was living off the success of the rest of defense. He said that Norman was a scheme guy and not a ubiquitous cornerback.

He also questioned Norman’s toughness. It was not clear what he meant by this statement, but I think he meant mental toughness. White pointed out there were tough corners that he had faced. He listed Champ Bailey, Al Harris, Darelle Revis, Richard Sherman, and Aqib Talib. While Harris and Bailey are retired, it is worth noting that the other three are Pro Bowlers, just like Norman.

Also not sure Talib deserves that label of tough either. Talib was one of those guys that Steve Smith managed to get inside their head. And Talib did not react well. Perhaps Talib has matured since then or perhaps White has different definition for toughness which exists merely to exclude Norman.

White also criticized that Norman just sat back in Cover 2 and clamed to shut people down without getting in their face or something. That seems different than arguing that Norman does not do his job, which no one disputes.

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White likely will not see much of Norman on Sunday unless the Falcons move Jones into the slot for long periods of time. However Jones also did not have much nice to say about Norman, he too provided some bulletin board material by saying that Norman was good but not great.

So what is White right about and what is he wrong about? He is right that Norman benefits from the Panthers front 7, however he does not have the star edge rusher to bring real pressure off. Sherman has Michael Bennett. Talib has Demarcus Ware. The Panthers have a committee at the moment.

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Is he wrong about Norman’s effectiveness? Again I think he is selling Norman short because this part some plan to rattle Norman or to show Norman that the Falcons won’t be rattled as Beckham was. I just find it odd that the Falcons would give the Panthers any ammunition. The Panthers are beatable when they are complacent, not when they something to prove. You don’t believe the defense will stick up for Norman and shut the Falcons down?

We will find out on Sunday as the Falcons host the Panthers.