Redskins corner Josh Norman didn’t hold back when talking about a pivotal defensive play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win against the Seahawks.
Norman made a crucial stop with eight-and-a-half minutes to go, tackling Seattle running back Thomas Rawls in front of the first-down marker on a third-and-1. Rawls attempted to stiff-arm Norman off of him, but Norman grabbed hold of the outstretched arm and held on for dear life, using it to rip Rawls down to the turf.
“I will say this. There was a play that happened earlier in the game where, I think — watch-you-call-it — they tried grabbing my face mask and torque it to the ground,” Norman told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Wednesday. “And I was just like, I wasn’t having it. I got a little pissed off after that.”
Paulsen interjected: “I think that was Jimmy Graham, Josh, on the horse collar. He grabbed you by the face mask.”
“Yeah. I know who it was,” Norman said, soliciting laughter from the hosts. “I’m just trying to keep my nerves down. I don’t want to keep, like, thinking about that, because I’ll kind of go off.”
“I kind of get a little emotional, heated when things like that happen,” he said. “So I kind of took it upon myself, the next time that did happen, I was gonna… So I saw it again. Number 34, he hits it outside, and he just put his arm out there, and it looked like some chum meat.”
“So, I just went out there and I grabbed it, and I wanted to take it off its socket,” he said. “You know, I really wanted to take his arm off his shoulder, but I couldn’t because of how the ankle was, so I just took it down with me, and I looked and made sure he didn’t get to the first down, and I got up and I was excited, man. I really was.”
“Because I knew that was a big play for them to stop that drive, and give the ball back to our offense so they could run down that clock,” he added. “Because they was driving and there was like six minutes or something to go.”
Here’s how close Rawls was to the first-down marker:
Asked if Sunday’s game was the most impressive regular-season win he could remember, Norman said, “It’s up there. It’s definitely up there.”
“I would say just because of the injuries, and we had a short hand, that it’s definitely one, two, for sure, because of how we battled and how we stayed consistent with each other on the defensive side of the ball, and we didn’t waver, we didn’t give in or give up to the opponents and what they gave us.”
“They gave us their best shot, man,” he said. “I mean, they was sending guys over, they was hitting us with double moves, scrambling out of pocket trying to ad lib plays. I mean, it was so much stuff, but guys was on their man and the defensive line was hunting. I mean, they just put their ears back and they went after them.”
“And that’s what we needed to do,” he said. “And we knew that going into it, four quarters. It wasn’t easy. It was tired. We played like 90 plays almost. But that’s what you’ve got to have if you want to be a championship team.”
Paulsen shared how much he admires Norman’s physical style of play.
Noting how many times big-name free agents have signed with the Redskins, only to under-perform, Paulsen commended Norman for his passion — how he played through broken ribs — and most importantly, how he’s not like previous free-agent busts in Washington, to ask, “Why don’t you do that, and why are you different?”
“It’s because of who you are. It’s your makeup,” Norman said. “It’s what you believe in and what your values are, and the character — who you want to portray yourself as.”
“And for me, it’s always been God, La Familia, and football,” he said. “Nothing else was gonna be ultimately over those three things, because that was the distraction for me, and it’s always been that way, even till today. So I really wanted to keep my mind fixed on that and I really want to come here and bring a championship.”
“And nothing else is gonna be suffice, man. Nothing else is gonna settle me,” he explained. “I’m not gonna be satisfied until that happens. Whatever I gotta do. If I gotta throw myself in there on third down knowing that I can’t go, but if I’m going to be out there just to be a decoy knowing they’re not gonna throw the ball, then I gotta do that, you know? I wanted to go back out there when we played the Chiefs, when I was injured. Hating my life, man.”
“Continue, continue to be on the field, because I know that, these guys, I want to give them something to look forward to, give them all I have,” he went on. “Because, I’m telling you, the only way I’m gonna be down is if you carry me out on a stretcher. That’s it. And I don’t know how else to put that, or how else to sum it up than you’re gonna get a ball-playin’ Jesse. And that’s what we bring to the table every time, man. It’s just that mindset: physicality all the way to the ground. That’s what you’ve got to have to be part of a champion.”