Josh Norman Says Bills Have Best Secondary in NFL: Hyde, Poyer Underrated

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2020

Buffalo Bills strong safety Micah Hyde (23) and free safety Jordan Poyer (21) react after a play against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

Buffalo Bills cornerback Josh Norman said Thursday his team features the best secondary in the NFL heading into the 2020 season.

Norman signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Bills in March. He'll likely join fellow corner Tre'Davious White and safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde in the starting lineup.

"We've got the best secondary in the league," he told reporters. "Guys sleep on Micah and Po back there."

White has established himself as one of the NFL's top cornerbacks since Buffalo selected him in the first round of the 2017 draft. He recorded 58 total tackles, 17 passes defended and six interceptions in 2019 to earn a First Team All-Pro selection and his first Pro Bowl appearance.

The 25-year-old LSU product hasn't decided whether to play in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, and fired back at critics earlier Thursday:

Tre'Davious White @TakeAwayTre_

Crazy that me choosing my family’s wellbeing over a game comes with so called fans attacking and questioning me and saying I’m selfish. No you guys are selfish for thinking that football is bigger than life. Oh by the way my girl’s grandfather passed from COVID. U understand now?

Meanwhile, Poyer and Hyde joined the Bills together as free-agent signings in 2017 and have teamed with White to give the AFC East club a terrific group of playmakers in the defensive backfield.

The safeties combined for 179 total tackles, five passes defended, four forced fumbles and three interceptions last season. Pro Football Focus ranked them as the third-best safety tandem in the NFL for 2020.

If White opts in, the Bills' ability to emerge as the league's best secondary would probably hinge on Norman returning to his own Pro Bowl form. He was named First-Team All-Pro with the Carolina Panthers in 2015, but his play faded across four years with the Washington Football Team.

Buffalo is hoping a reunion with Sean McDermott, the Panthers' defensive coordinator in 2015 and the current Bills head coach, can lead to a resurgence from the 32-year-old South Carolina native.

While the team features solid depth at the position, including Taron Johnson and Levi Wallace, an opt out by White and a failure to rebound from Norman could turn a major strength into a weakness.