Baltimore Ravens’ Steve Smith Sr., even at age 37, is still one of the best wide receivers in the game today. His tenacity combined with his never give up attitude has made him into a future hall of famer. Sunday he will line up against former Carolina Panthers teammate and now a member of the Washington Redskins in cornerback Josh Norman.
Norman is the cornerback equivalent to Steve Smith Sr. A man who can flat out play the position and is also not afraid to let you know how good he is. Norman is so good at just getting into the heads of the receivers he lines up against. Take his now infamous rivalry with New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the two games they have played against each other.
While Beckham has pretty good numbers against Norman, Norman's antics has gotten into Beckham's head, which has caused him to, quite frankly, embarrass himself during both games. Which has lead to victories for both the Panthers and Redskins.
Oddly enough at the same time, While Norman was playing mind games once again with Beckham two weeks ago, Steve Smith Sr. was getting under the skin of Jacksonville Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The two would have a war of words throughout the following week.
Smith and Norman were teammates with the Panthers from 2012-2013 and during that time, Smith and Norman lined up against each other during practices and those practices with Smith has helped mold Norman into the player that he is today. Smith spoke about getting to know Norman and seeing the player he would become during a conference call with the Washington media on Wednesday.
Smith said the following:
"I know the Josh Norman when I remember him as a rookie and watching him grow. So, I look at him, not as a Washington Redskins or Carolina Panther or top tier, elite, All-Pro, Pro Bowl corner; I look at him as Josh Norman, and as the guy, as the man, almost like a little brother."
Smith would go on to say that he doesn't know the Norman that many see him as.
This Sunday afternoon will not only mark the latest installment of the Battle of the Beltway between the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, but a fireworks display between two of the most passionate competitors, as well as two of the best to play their positions today. It’s a case of the new blood vs. the old guard Sunday afternoon and it could very well be the last time that Steve Smith Sr. and Josh Norman line up against each other. It should be loads of fun to watch.
Get your popcorn ready.