By Ben Sullivan
Redskins cornerback Josh Norman covered the Bears’ Alshon Jeffery last season.
Jeffery’s size and strength gave him problems in the first half of that game. In the second half, though, Norman had two picks, tipped a third ball that was intercepted and shut Jeffery down. After the game, Norman said he went to his “dark place” to do all that.
Norman says there was no bad blood between him and the Eagles’ Jeffery, who he will likely cover at least some of the time on Sunday.
“I think when people pissed me off in the situation that happened but it wasn’t nothing towards him. I think it was more so the guys they had on that squad so they’re not there anymore. He’s not there anymore. I think it will be a little different this go-around. There’s no animosity there, whatsoever,” Norman said yesterday. “I enjoy playing against a guy that tests our wits and tests us in the air, vertically, what we like to do. I enjoy the matchup every time we get it.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson figures Norman will shadow Jeffery all over the field. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he wasn’t sure yet.
“When you have a great corner like Josh and a great receiver like Alshon, Alshon’s going to make his share of plays and hopefully Josh can make his share or [Bashaud] Breeland if he’s on him or whoever, so we’ll just have to compete,” Gruden said.
Pederson said that the 27-year-old Jeffery has worked well in the Eagles’ offense so far.
“He is a big target, still runs well,” Pederson said. “Just really excited, obviously excited back in OTAs and through camp and watching he and Carson [Wentz] work. He is going to have a significant role. He is a big part of our offense, it’s the reason we brought him in.”
“Come Sunday, let’s turn this sucker up, man,” Norman said. “For real.”