Ex­pert trash-talk­ers Smith Sr., Nor­man keep it cor­dial

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL SPORTS - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— Two of the NFL’s premier trash talk­ers could be lined up across from one an­other fre­quently Sun­day, but nei­ther one chose to stir the pot just yet.

Bal­ti­more Ravens wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. spent two sea­sons as cor­ner­back Josh Nor­man’s team­mate with the Carolina Pan­thers. Nor­man signed with Wash­ing­ton as a free agent over the off­sea­son.

“They were very in­tense. I’m sure if you do your re­search, you will find out how in­tense they were,” Nor­man said about his matchups against Smith when the two were in Carolina. “If he wants to bring it up, I’ll con­tinue to chime in. If he gives you some­thing, I’ll prob­a­bly come back and give you some­thing more.”

Nor­man bragged about how well he cov­ered Smith dur­ing an early off­sea­son prac­tice as a rookie. Smith re­sponded, but nei­ther seemed too

OWINGS MILLS

wor­ried about the past.

“We have a good re­la­tion­ship. I re­spect Steve; I don’t have any­thing against him,” Nor­man said. “He is just do­ing what he has al­ways been do­ing since he has been play­ing ball – mak­ing plays and go­ing out there and do­ing his lit­tle dance that he al­ways does. I think it is super funny. He did it in Carolina, too, he just con­tin­ued to do it there [in Bal­ti­more]. His play­mak­ing abil­ity speaks for it­self.”

Like Nor­man, Smith showed re­spect in­stead of cre­at­ing pre-game head­lines.

“Josh Nor­man is a Pro Bowler. He is con­sid­ered one of the few elite cor­ners in the game,” he said. “I just know him as ‘Josh.’ I re­mem­ber the young guy com­ing in.”

The kind words will likely end at M&T Bank Sta­dium Sun­day. Nor­man was asked if he needs to be cau­tious of talk­ing smack to a player like Smith. “Nope,” he an­swered. Smith doesn’t plan to change much, ei­ther.

“I plan to play my game like I al­ways do,” he said.

Line­backer Ter­rell Suggs, also known to talk a bit, is look­ing for­ward to watch­ing from the side­line.

“That’s go­ing to be kind of fun,” Suggs said. “It’s al­ways ex­cit­ing to see two com­peti­tors go at it. I’m not sure if it’s go­ing to be one of those Odell Beck­ham-Nor­man [games], but it should be fun.”

Smith scored two touch­downs and had 139 yards re­ceiv­ing against Nor­man and his old team in 2014, but the two did not match up one-on-one fre­quently. That will likely change this week­end.

“To make it about Josh [Nor­man] and all that stuff ... This isn’t about Josh,” he said. “This is about the Bal­ti­more Ravens play­ing bet­ter foot­ball for four quar­ters in all three phases of the game.”

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GROGAN

Steve Smith Sr. called Wash­ing­ton’s Josh Nor­man “one of the few elite cor­ners in the game” prior to Sun­day’s meet­ing.

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