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Jay Gruden: Josh Norman can't be any more targeted


Redskins coach Jay Gruden has an interesting take on star cornerback Josh Norman sounding off on officials following Sunday's tie game: His words will not cause him to be targeted more by the refs, because that would be impossible.

"He can't be any more targeted than he was (Sunday), that's for sure," Gruden said, via

Norman was hit with four hands-to-the-face penalties and a pass interference in Sunday's 27-27 sister-kisser against the Cincinnati Bengals. Norman, like he's done for a majority of the season, shadowed the Bengals' premiere wideout unless he lined up in the slot.

The result was a physical battle, though officials were trying to make clear that Norman could not start a play by swatting Green in the face. So they called the same penalty for essentially the same motion over and over again.

"Josh is his own man and he really speaks his mind, and he just felt strongly about the way he felt and he put it out there. So he was frustrated after the game," Gruden said. "It's one thing to have one or two calls, but he had quite a few on him that could have gone either way quite frankly. But it's going to be hard to put a filter on Josh."

Gruden, like Ben McAdoo or Todd Bowles or any other coach with an outspoken star on the roster, is fine with the chatter so long as the performances can back it up. While A.J. Green had an exceptional game in London with more than 100 yards, Cincinnati had to go through incredible lengths to get him the ball and essentially force feed Green when Norman was off the field.

And the penalties, which were basically costing the Redskins five yards here and there, did not have a drastic effect on the game outside of providing the Bengals more time to adjust and plan.

It will be interesting to see if the next officiating crew decides to make the same point with Norman, or if Norman tries to adjust his style of play. Another five penalties under different circumstances could yield some decidedly different quotes next week.