Redskins DC: Norman, corners will shadow receivers

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

Fans of star-on-star matchups, rejoice!

We’re primed for at least two Josh Norman/Odell Beckham hypefests, and another pair of Norman/Dez Bryant showdowns after new Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky told reporters he’ll have his corners moving around the field to shadow specific receivers.

“It’s hard for them to travel at times, but will we do that? Yeah,” Manusky said, via ESPN.

As with most directional (left or right) positions, a player tends to feel more comfortable on one side than the other. A left tackle will feel more comfortable on the left than the right. The fine details of their fundamental actions feel more natural. But this shift in strategy suits Washington’s top cover man, Norman, who thrives against bigger, more physical receivers.

This season, Norman and the Redskins are facing divisional opponents that all feature larger wideouts: Dallas’ Bryant, New York’s Brandon Marshall (though it’s expected to see more of Norman covering Beckham), and Philadelphia’s new arrival, Alshon Jeffery. Bigger No. 1 targets also loom outside of the division, in Denver’s Demaryius Thomas, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and the ChargersKeenan Allen, among others.

Manusky understands the issue of positional comfort. But he’d rather have his best man covering the opposition’s best man. Or, Manusky said, there could be scenarios in which Norman takes an opponent’s lesser target, while Washington dedicates two defenders to the other team’s top receiver.

What it does make is an authentic Player A vs. Player X preview, which is largely untrue in today’s age of complex defensive schemes. We can finally put a little more stock in Norman’s braggadocio and wait for it to be put to the test come Sunday. What a time to be alive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s