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Josh Norman 'pumped' for Julio Jones battle


This is not the first time Panthers cornerback Josh Norman has played a great wide receiver this season, but it may be the most significant.

With an undefeated record on the line, facing a Falcons offense that is desperate to break out of its sleepwalk, there is every reason to believe that Julio Jones will have a major presence in Sunday's matchup. If he doesn't, there's every reason to believe the Panthers will win again.

When asked about it this week, Norman noted that there is more film available on him than ever before. Couple that with the fact that Jones is the best receiver of the lot Norman has faced so far in terms of numbers and pure preparation, and the fact that the Falcons play the Panthers twice in the next three weeks, and it's easy to understand why this one individual matchup is being hyped so much.

"I think (Jones) is a guy that gives me that ultimate, almost challenge, to where I can say that, man, every corner, every turn, he's so explosive," Norman said, via "So I got to just take it a notch higher to try and combat that. And he pushes me, man. He pushes you to your wildest dreams imaginable. So, it's kind of one of those things where I love the competition. I'm excited for it. I'm ready. I'm anxious. I'm pumped."

The most comparable example for Norman was probably way back in Week 2 against the Texans. Norman was thrown at while covering DeAndre Hopkins seven times and allowed just two catches for 24 yards.

He advised reporters to get a good seat because the afternoon was going to be well worth watching. Though his response was a little cagey, it sounded like Norman confirmed he would shadow Jones all afternoon (A quick look back at the last Panthers-Falcons game from 2014 confirms that Norman indeed shadowed Jones).

"Man, did I shadow him last year? I'm pretty sure you've watched what we've been doing lately," Norman said. "If you notice that I shadowed him last year and I shadowed every other receiver this year, that's No. 1, so obviously I would think you would think that we would do the same thing with him."