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Josh Norman rebuffs critics, defends 'Hollywood' label

10/10/2018 7:25:32 PM
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Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is back where he's comfortable: dealing with critics, John Keim of ESPN reports. In the past week they've called him the team's third-best corner and also someone focused on celebrity who has gone Hollywood.

They watched him get benched for the start of the second half in Monday's 43-19 loss to the New Orleans Saints after blowing a coverage for a long touchdown in the second quarter.

"I'm a target, man. I am. I'm a hot button. You press it, you're going to get a ring," Norman said. "It comes with the territory."

Norman also had words with Saints receiver Michael Thomas during the game and on social media afterward. But there was also criticism from former teammate DeAngelo Hall, who said Monday on 106.7 The Fan that "Josh, I think, is in love with being a celebrity right now and not necessarily being a football player."

Redskins coach Jay Gruden disagreed with Hall's assessment.

"I love D. Hall, but damn. ... I think when things don't go well, there's going to be a lot of reasons why," Gruden said, "but I don't think that's a reason at all. I think the communication wasn't up to par, and that goes for everybody, the safeties and corners and linebackers. Too many guys wide open and there were some that were Josh's fault, some D.J. [Swearinger], there were some of everybody's fault, coaches, whatever it might be. But we've got to get it cleared up."

Norman appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" in the spring, commuting during the OTA sessions -- but making each practice. He told Yahoo! Sports earlier this week about his post-football plans to become an actor. During the Redskins' bye week, Norman flew to California to take part in preproduction work for a sitcom called "Taking ConTroll."

"I don't know what to say. I seen a little bit of what he said with Hollywood and I can say that's true -- I have went Hollywood," Norman said. "I've been Hollywood. Ever since I came out my mama's womb, I've been Hollywood. If they went right, I went left. That's just how we did. When the lights came on, that's just who we are."

Norman has appeared on Fox's pregame show at various times since arriving in Washington, such as during a bye week. There were questions at the time about how it might affect his play. For Norman, he views these opportunities as preparing for life after football.

"When it's football time, I'm going to do football," he said. "I'm going to be indulged in that. That is what we do. That's who we are. We work at that. We didn't get here by mistake. But outside of football? You're going to tell me I'm just supposed to do football outside of football? Or can I do something else? I don't know. I mean, I don't know if I'm supposed to live my life with a football helmet on when I retire from football."

Norman said he does these things because he can.

"A lot of people can't. So they don't. Or they're afraid. But I'm not, because I'm totally different from people," Norman said. "And if I'm different and if I feel like I want to do something, I'm going to do that. If you call that Hollywood, so be it. Guess what? I'll get my check from Hollywood. And I'll come back and I'll play ball. That's just what we do. I mean, I look at those things and I have to take into consideration, man, what's important to me. And this is first and foremost. This is first love, man. It's God, family and football. Nothing more, nothing less. And what I do outside of that is my extracurricular activities."

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