Panthers cornerback Josh Norman continues to follow the script set by Richard Sherman back in 2012, from the All-Pro-caliber breakout season on the field to the relentless attention-mongering off the field.
On the heels of Norman's 60-minute slap fest with Odell Beckham in Week 15, Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White openly questioned the Pro Bowler's toughness and attributed his reputation as a "lock-down corner" to Carolina's defensive scheme.
A proud player fighting for Defensive Player of the Year honors in a contract drive, Norman wasn't about to let the slight go without a retort of his own.
"I know Julio is leading right now, receivers wise," Norman said, via ESPN.com. "Roddy, I think, is their fifth receiver coming in behind the tight end and running backs.
"I think he has one reception for a touchdown this year, so we're going to try to hold him out as much as we can."
Battling knee woes for the past two years, White has struggled to separate from cornerbacks and is no longer a threat after the catch. One could argue that he deserves more respect as an accomplished 11-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowl selection, but he left himself wide open by lashing out at Norman.
"There is a saying ... if you don't have haters, then you're not poppin'," Norman said. "It's pretty cool, at the same time knowing that guys that we face have a little bit of animosity toward us. It's cool. I would, too."
If opposing wide receivers want to put an end to Norman's exceedingly tedious on- and off-field taunts and gibes, they are going to have to start beating him for big plays.
Until then, Norman is going to continue to play Lady Gaga to Sherman's Madonna as his field's agent provocateur, pushing the preset buttons that ineluctably lead to money, fame and league-wide acclaim in the modern NFL.