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posted on 9-14-2018 at 03:16 AM
anthers love his swagg
RICHMOND Dwayne Allen Jersey , Va. (AP) Alex Smith is
frustrating Josh Norman.
Norman likes having Smith with the Washington Redskins, but practice time against the veteran quarterback at training camp hasn’t been as beneficial
as the big-money cornerback had hoped. That’s because Smith has been so on-point with his decision-making and throws that Norman isn’t getting a
whole lot of work in team drills.
”You’re in great position, you get there top of the route, you’re ready for your play to be made and it doesn’t come,” Norman said. ”But
the ones you are a little step behind on and you’re almost there to make it, he throws it. It’s those games, cat and mouse, man. It’s
cat-and-mouse games that it just sucks when you’re the mouse.”
Norman feels like the mouse early in camp but hopes facing a QB like Smith each day benefits him in the long run. Entering the third season of a $75
million, five-year contract, Norman is balancing the lack of work he’s getting during 11-on-11 time with his usual half-hour plus of individual
drills after practice as one of the last players on the field.
”That’s what you’ve got to do to be the best, to be great like him,” said undrafted rookie safety Quin Blanding, who worked out with Norman
following practice Sunday. ”It just shows he wants extra work no matter all the work he’s done in practice. It’s always find ways to get better,
and that’s what he’s doing.”
Norman is known for his post-practice regimen Will Dissly
Jersey , whether it’s going for jump balls or catching in rapid succession out of a JUGS machine. But none of that compares to team snaps, where
Smith is avoiding Norman the way he would in a real game.
”I’m just staying the course and trying to understand that your technique is not flawed, continue to do what you do even though your chances are
not coming,” Norman said. ”But when they do come, try to be better than the quarterback in making a play. He’s so precise right now, so he’s
not making mistakes, and that’s the biggest thing you’ve seen. Even in practice, he’s not making mistakes. It’s hard to try to key in on
Coach Jay Gruden approves. His offense is built around quick decisions and finding the right receiver to throw to, and that’s not usually by
”Josh is getting plenty of work,” Gruden said Tuesday. ”We’re not going to throw a flat route out to Josh Norman and let him pick it. That’s
just common sense, so Josh is going to have to wait for somebody else to throw it to him.”
Norman is still isolating elements of his game to work on at age 30, going into his seventh NFL season. He had no interceptions last year and dropped
more than a handful of prime opportunities, so at practice he’s working on the little things that turn a broken-up pass into a pick.
”Being in place is the first part, but finishing the ball should be something that already is established and ingrained in you Hunter Henry Jersey ,” Norman said. ”It’s just that
six inches from making a play to not making a play.”
Trying to close the gap on those inches is what goes into Norman’s extra work after practice. And in the process, he’s helping young defensive
backs like Blanding and Kenny Ladler develop the same kind of habits.
”You fix the mistakes and then when it comes again, you don’t make the same mistake,” Blanding said. ”You’ve got to be ready to work no
matter if it feels like a great day of practice or if it was a bad day of practice. You’ve got to put that aside and you’ve just got to work.
You’ve got to keep on working, and that’s what he does.”
NOTES: RB Chris Thompson, who’s recovering from surgery to repair a broken right fibula, took his first snaps in team drills Tuesday. … LB Mason
Foster was limited at practice by a strained stomach muscle.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton is welcoming the idea of sharing the spotlight in Carolina.
Newton has been the focal point of the Panthers’ offense for the past seven seasons, but that’s about to change — at least to some degree.
Sure, Newton will still be running the show and remain a dual-threat QB, but coach Ron Rivera has made it clear Christian McCaffrey will play a much
larger role this season, saying that it would be “ideal” to get the second-year running back 25 to 30 touches per game.
That’s a lot.
McCaffrey averaged less than half that amount of touches as a rookie and still managed 1,086 yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns, so
there’s potential for him to have a big season.
Most of McCaffrey’s production came as a receiver in 2017 Brandon Williams Jersey , where he set a franchise rookie record with 80 receptions and five TD catches. But after releasing
all-time leading rusher Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers are eager to feature McCaffrey more in the running game — similar to how new Panthers
offensive coordinator Norv Turner used LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego.
“I could see Christian, especially if he continues to develop the way we think he can, being a very integral part of what we want to do,” Rivera
And it’s all part of the overall design to take some of the pressure off Newton, who led the team in rushing as well as passing last season.
One of the reasons Turner was brought in was to find new and creative ways to get McCaffrey the ball, particularly in open space where he’s
difficult to tackle because of his speed and shiftiness.
McCaffrey has been featured extensively in the preseason, touching the ball 10 times for 51 yards on Carolina’s opening 16-play drive against the
New England Patriots in the third preseason game.
Here are some other things to know about the Panthers:
CAM AND NORV
As for Newton, all eyes will be on how well he adapts to Turner’s offense.
Newton worked in a similar scheme with Turner understudy Rob Chudzinski early in his career, so there is some familiarity there.
But while Newton said he’s “extremely comfortable” with Turner, players say this system is more intricate than what former offensive coordinator
Mike Shula ran.
Under Turner, Newton will be asked to look past his first and second options more often and take what the defense gives him, relying heavily on
McCaffrey and new speedy receivers Jarius Wright, Torrey Smith and rookie D.J. Moore to make plays.
“That has to be my mentality Tim Williams Jersey ,”
Newton said. “We have a lot of guys who can take 2 yards and turn it into 20 yards, or more. But it starts with me and I have to trust those guys
and get the ball to them.”
SPREADING IT AROUND
Rivera also wants to see Newton get back to doing the things that earned him the league MVP honor in 2015 and helped the Panthers reach the Super Bowl
— spreading the ball around to his several different receivers.
He certainly has the options to do that with the additions at wide receiver and tight end Greg Olsen.
“Norv gets guys a lot of different guys in a lot of different places,” Wright said. “There are some quick throws here and there and he basically
gives the quarterback places to go with the ball.”
It is Shaq Thompson time in Carolina.
Thompson has been groomed for the past three seasons to take over for Thomas Davis at weakside linebacker. With Davis suspended four games to open the
season for testing positive for a banned substance, Thompson gets his shot.
“Thomas is the leader of our room, he’s the leader of this team,” middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said. “We are going to miss having him
around. Shaq will do an excellent job, but when Thomas gets back, he’s going to be hungry and he’s going to be fresh.”
The Panthers will be counting on second-round pick Donte Jackson to step in and start right away at cornerback.
Jackson is not big, but he was one of the fastest players in college football last season. He still struggles at times taking the correct angle on
tackles, but the Panthers love his swagger and playmaking ability.
Three starters on the offensive line went down with knee injuries during the preseason leaving the Panthers in a potentially precarious situation.
Rivera said he’s not sure if 2017 All-Pro second-team right tackle Daryl Williams, left tackle Matt Kalil or left guard Amini Silatolu will be back
on the field for Carolina’s Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Dallas.
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