In the upcoming book Panthers Rising by the Charlotte Observer's Scott Fowler, Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman shed light on his relationship with Cam Newton and offered another verbal jab at Odell Beckham Jr.
Since Newton and Norman played on opposite sides of the ball, it's only natural they'd have a friendly rivalry at times when Norman was a member of the Carolina Panthers. Speaking with Fowler, Norman explained the everyday interactions between him and Newton:
Cam's a good guy, but we didn't really talk. We had an admiring respect. A respect, like, a sniffing kind of respect. You know when two dogs sniff and they know what's good and then they go their different ways? And don't really play with each other? Like that. I just wanted to one-up him, and he just wanted to one-up me.
Norman also discussed the physical confrontation he and Newton had during training camp in August 2015.
The scuffle resulted from an interception by Norman during practice, and Newton took exception to the way he threw the ball after being tackled. Norman said he thought the incident helped make the team better and played a role in Carolina's Super Bowl run.
Regarding Beckham, Norman continued his war of words with the New York Giants wideout. The two had a heated back-and-forth during the Panthers' 38-35 win in December. Beckham earned a one-game suspension after picking up three personal fouls.
In his interview with Fowler, Norman criticized what he felt was a sense of entitlement from Beckham:
He's yapping over there. And (Beckham doesn't) even sound like he's making any sense. He just went (in the draft) in the first round and everything is handed to him. He gets to New York. ... He catches one stupid little ball, and everybody in New York (loves) this guy, because that’s the biggest amount of media in the world. ... So all that went to his big old head, and for some odd reason he thinks he's somebody that he's not.
Beckham's one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys did turn him into a star, but it would be unfair to reduce his entire NFL career to date down to that one play.
Since the Giants selected him 12th overall in the 2014 draft, Beckham has been one of the best wideouts in the league. Below is a look at where he ranks in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns over the last two years, per Pro-Football-Reference.com's play index:
|Odell Beckham Jr. by the Numbers|
|27||187 (T-6th)||2,755 (4th)||25 (1st)|
The good news is that Norman and Beckham will match up against each other at least twice this year.
Plenty of NFL fans have circled Weeks 3 and 17, when the Giants and Redskins clash. Norman vs. Beckham will be one of the most entertaining positional battles of the 2016 season.