Redskins CB Norman: Fines, flags not likely to prompt change
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) To no one's surprise, Josh Norman is sticking to his style, on and off the field.
The Washington Redskins cornerback is not about to let the NFL's fines or officials' yellow flags deter him from doing what he does, whether it's speaking his mind about what he considers bad calls or sticking a hand in an opposing receiver's face.
As his Redskins (4-3-1) get set to host the Minnesota Vikings (5-3) on Sunday, Norman is sure the league is keeping a particularly close eye on him.
He's also certain he's not going to alter anything because of it.
''What am I going to change, my aggressiveness? … For what? No. It's what we do. We've been doing it since Day 1. Why's it going to change now? Because it's aggressive? Hands to the face? So? I'm going to come back and I'm going to be aggressive in the same way the next time – and the next time after that,'' Norman said. ''You're going to have to actually physically run through me to beat me. That's what's going to have to happen. At the end of the day, that's how I play, that style of football.''
Washington is coming off its bye. In the team's most recent game, a 27-27 tie in London against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 30, Norman was whistled five times as he was matched up against wideout A.J. Green, including four flags for illegal hands to the face.
Afterward, Norman ripped the field judge for poor officiating, a diatribe that prompted a fine of $25,000 from the league that he is appealing.
He also was docked $9,115 earlier this season for a bow-and-arrow pantomime that drew a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct after an interception.
''I enjoy the refs. I love them. They love me. We out there, we're playing with each other. They say (my) first name; I call them by theirs. We have fun with each other,'' Norman said. ''I don't think that's one of the things that's the problem here.''
Norman has picked off only one pass since joining the Redskins as a free agent after the Carolina Panthers surprisingly let him leave over the offseason. He generally has managed to play the same sort of shutdown defense he displayed as an All-Pro a year ago.
Norman hasn't always been deployed as a traveling cornerback assigned to the opponent's top receiver – remember Washington's Week 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Antonio Brown? – but there is no doubt he is a major cog in the defense.
''He cuts off one side of the field for us,'' defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois said. ''That's a plus.''
And coach Jay Gruden leaves no doubt how he feels about what Norman has done in a Redskins uniform, whether it's during plays, between them, or in front of reporters' microphones.
''I've been very impressed with Josh from the day that he got here,'' Gruden said Wednesday, referring to Norman's work ethic.
Then, turning to the rest of what having Norman on the team entails, the coach added:
''As far as his off-the-field antics or on-the-field penalties that he's gotten, he's a physical football player. He's in your face and he's very competitive. You don't want to change that about him at all.''
NOTES: WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) missed practice Wednesday, while S Will Blackmon (left thumb) and RT Morgan Moses (left ankle) were limited. … . Former Redskins GM Bobby Beathard will be inducted into the team's Ring of Fame during Sunday's ''homecoming game'' against the visiting Vikings.
AP Sports Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.
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