Expert trash-talkers Smith Sr., Norman keep it cordial
— 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
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.”
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Steve Smith Sr. called Washington’s Josh Norman “one of the few elite corners in the game” prior to Sunday’s meeting.