The Washington Redskins secondary is often the talk of the team. “In order to be successful they are going to need good play from their secondary,” is often the chorus sung. Last season the song began to change, and the tune started to become sweet. The missing key to golden music may have been one note. The front office added that note in 2016 in the form of Josh Norman.
Josh Norman is a talented cornerback. He came on the NFL scene strong in 2015. He was one of the best shutdown corners in the league last season. It just so happened to be a contract year. At the end of the 2015 season, the Carolina Panthers used their franchise tag on Norman. After some negotiations and determining that they were not going to come to a long-term option, the Panthers rescinded the tag. This made Josh Norman a free agent immediately. He would not be a free agent long.
His first and only visit would be to the Washington Redskins. On April 22, 2016, after a family vote, Norman signed a 5-year $75 million deal with the Redskins. The signing of Josh Norman, the Redskins feel, is that final note to make the secondary pitch perfect. Can the golden pipes and skills of Norman make sweet sounds?
Josh Norman is often viewed as a system corner. Many feel that he is unable to shutdown the oppositions best WR. The “experts” have reiterated this during camp. They see WRs, in camp, beating Norman on the deep ball during drills that are made to showcase the WR. Norman is on a mission to make that statement as false as he can. Especially since he will be facing two of the best WRs in the league four times a year (Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant).
With the addition of Josh Norman, the Redskins should be able to run more man-to-man. In 2015, The Redskins ran a zone defense in the secondary due to the lack of a top cover corner primarily. Bashaud Breeland was their best, but he is still young. Now with Breeland, a year older and the addition of Norman should allow Defensive Coordinator Joe Berry to be more creative with coverage and blitz packages.
Now Norman does like to make his golden pipes sing. It has already started in the preseason. Norman is going to have to be on his top game to keep golden pipes from tarnishing. If they tarnish, then the Redskins could be in trouble as far as their mission as a team.
The signing of Josh Norman was a solid move for the secondary of the Washington Redskins. Watch how this defense is tuned. Sweet music should once again return to the secondary of the Redskins defense, which is something they have not had since the great Sean Taylor passed.