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Josh Norman will face plenty of tests with Redskins

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Now that he has departed Carolina for the nation's capital, Josh Norman will likely face a stiffer test than any NFL cornerback in September.

The Washington Redskins draw three of the league's five best wide receivers in Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham in the season's first three games.

Football fans will have their popcorn ready for Norman's Sept. 25 matchup with Beckham after last year's fireworks between the two rivals led directly to the NFL's new automatic ejection rule.

In a recent interview with NFL Network's Lindsay Rhodes on NFL Total Access, Norman escalated the feud by leaving Beckham off his list of the NFL's best wideouts.

Although Beckham essentially suffered a mental meltdown versus the Panthers in December, he beat Norman's coverage often enough to leave roughly 100 yards on the field that day.

Prior to his back-to-back matchups with Beckham and Julio Jones late in the season, Norman had limited the murderer's row of Jones, Bryant, DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans and T.Y. Hilton to a combined nine catches and 89 yards in five games versus his coverage.

It will be interesting to see how Norman is deployed in Washington.

He rarely shadowed No. 1 receivers in Carolina because the Panthers are primarily a zone coverage team. Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry also runs a lot of zone, which means Norman might not play a lockdown role even if he boasts the length and movement skills to pull it off.

From yet another angle, why have Norman "travel" around the field when Bashaud Breeland emerged as a playmaking Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback in his own right last season?

Regardless of Norman's role, he's not out of the woods at the end of the season's first month. The schedule picks up again after the Week 9 bye, with clashes versus Jordy Nelson, Alshon Jeffery and the Cardinals' dangerous trio in addition to rematches with Bryant and Beckham.

The highlight, though, is the Week 15 nationally televised Sunday night showdown versus Kelvin Benjamin and a Panthers team that rescinded its franchise tag on the All-Pro cornerback on Wednesday.

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