The Carolina Panthers' success in the previous NFL season brought them to the spotlight, tagging along feuds with other football teams and fanbases. One of the most widely criticized players on the roster is Cam Newton, who was frequently compared to other NFL quarterbacks like Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks. The confidence of the Carolina Panthers leader had been regarded as arrogance and cockiness - with some fans even calling for penalties to be meted out against the quarterback.
However, it was Josh Norman who eventually fulfilled these calls when he engaged in a physical altercation with Odell Beckham, Jr. The December match between the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers not only featured a football game but also an embarrassing display of temper from both players. While the two NFL teams have yet to meet again, it looks like the cornerback still has leftover bad blood for the wide receiver.
The rift between Norman and Beckham was once again rehashed when the Carolina Panthers star was asked to give his top five receivers in the NFL today. Given the spectacular record of the New York Giants star, who was the first-round NFL Draft pick of the team in 2014, it is apparent that the cornerback still holds on to his beef against Beckham. That is, Norman did not list the New York Giants cornerback in his top five best receivers in the league. Notably, the Carolina Panthers star is unapologetic of his ranking.
"So this is what I see. If he wants to get up there, do something to show me," said Norman. He added, "Shoot, man, I played it, I saw it. I don't know, I just didn't think that. But he's working there. I think he's definitely a top 10. He's working in the top-five bracket. Maybe if I play him again, he'll show me different."
The list of Norman included teammate Kelvin Benjamin whom he described as a "big threat." Julio Jones was also part of his list, commenting that the Atlanta Falcons star is "one of the most explosive receivers" he has ever faced. Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown was part of the top five as well, with Norman describing as a "shifty, crafty" wide receiver. Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys made the list. The Tony Romo squad member was called a "beast" by the Carolina Panthers star, with Norman further noting that he needed to be in a "seek-and-destroy mode" to deal with Bryant. Rounding up the top five is AJ Green of the Cincinnati Bengals whom Norman called a "stat-sheet stunner."
Meanwhile, some experts believe that Norman failed to match up against Beckham. Greg Cosell, a senior producer at NFL Films, noted that the Carolina Panthers star failed to beat the New York Giants star "physically." The exec added that the competition was "not even close."
"Norman did match up to Beckham, but they didn't play man coverage very often," shared Cosell. He added, "And in fact,Beckham killed him. I watched every play and I studied it hard because I knew it would be a topic of conversation. Beckham was beaten mentally. But physically, it's not even close. Norman can't cover Beckham."
It remains to be seen how these recent comments will translate to the gridiron. Some believe that the two, specifically Odell Beckham Jr, will need to be more careful given the recent changes in the NFL rules. With the approval of the "ejection" rule, the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers stars must watch their actions to avoid the punishments. Moreover, the wide receiver must take heed of the changes especially in light of the new rule's nickname - the "Odell Beckham Rule."