Most rookies – let alone a fifth-round pick from a mid-major school – don't begin running their mouths and calling out veteran players before playing a single snap in an NFL game.
Josh Norman isn't most rookies.
Norman, a 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback from Coastal Carolina, isn't intimidated by the transition from the Big South to the NFL. In fact, he's been the one trying to do the intimidating – a ploy which 11-year veteran receiver Steve Smith isn't falling for.
Norman told The Charlotte Observer that he stayed step-for-step with Smith in coverage during last week's OTAs, even implying that No. 89 was a little bit flustered by his defense.
“He’d (Smith) throw his hands in the air,” Norman said. “He'd have a couple words.”
“For a young guy, he's coming out and he's playing well. But as far as how much swagger and he loves to compete, I look at it like all the other veterans – May and June you just kind of cruise a little bit just to get through,” Smith said to The Charlotte Observer.
“Once late July, August comes, he's going to learn very quickly this isn't Coastal Carolina."
“I always pictured myself being at this level," Norman told Tom Sorensen of The Charlotte Observer. "I always pushed myself that much harder. Because I have a lot of talent, obviously, but I also put a lot into it.”
While some may perceive Norman as cocky or even brash, his play has been able to bail out his mouth so far in his brief football career. When summer begins to turn into fall – like Steve Smith said – that's when the hotshot rookie may be in for a rude awakening.
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