Josh Norman is known for not being afraid to speak his mind.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera took the Coastal Carolina cornerback at the No. 143 pick four years ago, and on Thursday, he talked about how much Norman's grown on the gridiron from 2012 to 2015.
“He came in a very confident, cocky football player,” Rivera said, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “It was evident he was still needing to grow and mature as a football player.
“As years went on, we were seeing the development. He kind of shot from the hip, gambled a lot, took a lot of chances, but he started to grow, develop in the scheme.”
Not only has Norman matured as a football player, but he's matured into arguably the best cornerback in the NFL. Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson wrote on Oct. 5 that Norman is at the top of his position because of how Carolina moves him around the field. He's also going to be a free agent this offseason and is sure to cash in on a major payday, whether it be through a new contract or the franchise tag.
Norman's evolution into a premier defensive back has paid off, as he was one of six Panthers to be named to the Associated Press All-Pro First Team after a career-high four interceptions this season. Coming in as a fifth-round pick, there had to be a lot of pressure on Norman just to earn a roster spot.
Now, he's playing in a Super Bowl on Sunday and then will be rewarded for his play in the offseason.