Don’t Call it a Comeback

When you sign a massive free agent contract, fans and media will go after you if you misstep and under perform expectations.

When you are someone who has a big personality and willing to take on the best of the best, everyone expects you to bring your “A game” every week.

There is no doubt that Josh Norman has a lot riding on the 2018 season.  There were even those that were wondering if the Redskins this past offseason were either going to try to renegotiate Norman’s contract, or cut him out right to try and get him to sign a new contract that is more cap friendly.

The 2017 season has seemed to be a blip on what has been a stellar career so far by Norman.  He has proven to be a Pro Bowl and All-Pro talent that can give fits to the best wide receivers in the NFL (looking at you Odell Beckham, Jr).

But, what can we expect from him in 2018?  To answer that, we need to take a dive into his 2017 season.

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Oct 9, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Washington Redskins medical staff tend to cornerback Josh Norman (24) as he lays on the field during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Injury:

Last year, Norman played in 14 games due to injury and it was the first time since the 2013 season that he did not record an interception.  The 2017 season also saw Norman’s passes defended drop to its lowest since 2013 as well.  However, despite playing in 14 games, Norman came just short of his tackle in 2016 and his passes defended total could have hit double digits if he had stayed healthy.

With a deeper and healthy defensive line this season, this should lead to more rushed and inaccurate throws.  Norman will be able to take advantage of these opportunities and we could see career highs across the board.

Some people might argue that the rest of the secondary could be exposed, and teams decide to throw away from Norman’s side of the field.  I would agree that we could see that early in the year.  However, the secondary is set to be improved and deeper itself which will benefit Norman.

All these factors on defense, plus an improved and more established running game, will allow for Josh Norman to return to the Pro Bowl and re-establish himself as an All-Pro cornerback in 2018.

2018 Predictions:

  • Tackles: 70
  • Passes Defended: 25
  • Interceptions: 7
  • Touchdowns: 1

 

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Alan grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His earliest memory of the Redskins was their Super Bowl XXVI victory with what many argue is the best NFL team in history. Alan brings his unique analytics perspective with his views on the Redskins and is never shy to criticize them when he sees fit. Alan currently resides in Arlington, VA with his wife. Alan can be reached on his Twitter handle @AlanLepore

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