Josh Norman discusses contract negotiations and trash talk

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Cornerback, Carolina Panthers

Born: Dec. 15, 1987

Experience: Four NFL seasons

Interview by Brooke Cersosimo | March 23, 2016

I think the biggest challenge (of being a cornerback) is manning the post. What I mean by that is you out there and you guardin' the best receiver that team has to put up against you. That receiver is tryin' to pose his will amongst your will. It's kinda like a one-on-one in an 11-man game.

I want to challenge myself, I'm pretty sure, just as much as the other opponent wants to. To try to beat him on every play is just the biggest gratification I can get from it.

I get my pads on and I know it's about to be go time. I get so hyped for that. I'm talkin' about so hyped that coaches are like "OK, you ready J-No? Calm down." I don't do the whole goin' outside [onto the field pre-game] thing. Don't. Can't. I won't be successful 'cause if I go out there, it's gonna be a problem. I already know. I just let them guys do it and tell me about it. I do what I gotta do and that's it.

Do I? If I'm not (the NFL's best corner), who else is? [Expletive], I've been workin' myself to the point where I can say I've done some good things, I really have. I played in a way in which coaches would like for me to have played and done the things I've needed to do to put myself at that top level. I'm still continuin' to grow and push the parameters of what this position can be, and I've yet to get to that point, but I'm goin' to. I know I'm goin' to.

I think it's a contract to justify what I've done. If the contract speaks for the numbers, I mean, if it says I'm the top, what does that look like? I don't want to sell myself short. Why should I?

You like who you play for, you like the coaching staff, you like the general managers, you like everybody that's there. At the same time, it's a business and we get paid to do this.

I would like to see a bigger number than I'm getting now, that's for sure. And they know what that is. So to put numbers out there in the atmosphere, I wouldn't quite do that. But I will say a number that will put me where I deserve and that number is to be spoken of where I'm at right now in my profession.

I'm the No. 1 cornerback in the world right now with what I'm doing. The stat sheet shows it.

Yeah, (Batman and I) are similar. Batman is so kinda self-made. Like Superman has all the strength and from a different planet and has super powers. No, Batman is blue-collar, a workman. He works at a rate where everything he has, he's gotten and worked at it. And he has a tool belt to where he uses his tools and is even more [of] a threat to his opponent. He's able to be masterful in how he uses it. For me, I worked my way up, going through the ranks from high school to college at a small school and to the NFL. I have a toolbox from Cover 2, Cover 3, Cover 4, and I have a tool from each one, and I'm deadly in whatever you wanna pick because I switch it up so much that you don't know what coverage I'm in. If you think I'm in one coverage, I'm in another one and make a play just like that.

The funnest receiver [to defend] is Julio [Jones] because I get up for that. Julio challenges the skill set to which I gotta be on my Ps and Qs every single play. Can't relax 'cause he's so explosive and can make a play just that fast. If he does, you're not gonna live that down. I can make as many plays as I want to, but he makes that one big play and everybody is like, "Oh, man."

I'm not a trash talker. People think I trash talk, but I really don't. If you try me in that field of play, then I'ma try you. I think I'm givin' what any other player would be givin'. If you show me respect, I'll give it to you. If you don't, I'll show you different. If you talk, OK, we're going to see how far your talk goes before it actually messes up your game -- not mine. 'Cause I'm pretty good at it. I've battled in that, grown up in it. I've sat down and watched other guys do it. Havin' other people come in and do what I do, doesn't work out for them because they haven't been there. If you wanna trash talk me, that's my game and I can do that. If you want to have a nice game, I can just ball and find other ways to be aggressive. However you want it, any kind of way, I can give it to you.

Oh my gosh. I just completely stop with some people, like it's too much. Why [do they] want to talk about [Odell Beckham Jr.] all day? Get outta here, but whatever.

I thought it was going to be over after the first quarter. ... Shoot, man, I can play this game however you want it. It can be doggy, dirty and ugly. Or it can be nice, polite and just have a great day about it. I'm not one of those guys who will be disruptive in that kinda manner. I know when to pick my times in which I need to do things.

Hardest thing is to maintain my self-discipline. If I can do that through four quarters, then I'm gonna be winnin' every time. Nobody's gonna be better than me that day.

I mean, why are we interviewin' after a Super Bowl loss like that? What you gonna get out of it? ... To win all those games, get to the Super Bowl and then you lose. My gosh. ... Then we gotta sit up here and talk to reporters afterward, and I'm sittin' here trying to figure out for the life of me how did I just get stabbed in the gut a thousand times, why am I still talkin' about this? Why can't you just wait a day after? That would be more reasonable, and even then, I would skip it. I'm not tryin' to ever get to that point again and lose. I promise you. ... I wanted Super Bowl 50. I would've been etched in stone forever.

I'm not tryin' to ever get to that point again and lose. I promise you. ... I wanted Super Bowl 50. I would've been etched in stone forever.

To lose [the Super Bowl], to me, it was just so big. It's not by chance that you get to that point. I envisioned this, I dreamt it and I gave my best effort and went out there and played the best game of the season, I feel. It just sucks to fall short of that. I'm still, as you can see, still rigid about it. You know, I'll get back to that game. I know that I will. Gotta do everything to beat the odds of what people think of you.

[The new ejection rule has] got nothin' to do with me. Shoot, I haven't done anything to be ejected on or done anything to be thrown out. The crazy thing about it is the referees come to me first outta everybody else, like, "Hey, Norman. You have a great day today." I'm like, "I know. Don't be on me so much. Watch everybody else. I be cool, trust me. But if he starts, I'm gonna finish it." That's how I am. I tip-toe the line, but I don't cross over it. And if it gets outta hand, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but that's how the game is played, man.

Why all these rule changes? I'm just scratchin' my head, man. They're takin' away the game in which we play, man. It's just unreal every year, the rules change to tighten the game. Used to be somebody makes a big hit or play and everybody is like, "Nice!" Now, you make that same play and everybody cringin' and crunchin' like, "Uh, we don't wanna see that." Soft society. It's ridiculous.

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