Josh Norman just might be the best corner in football right now, and is certainly the most visible player on a fantastic defense that hasn’t let the Panthers lose a game yet. But former NFL safety and NBC analyst Rodney Harrison is not quite as impressed as Norman thinks he should be. The two have been jawing back and forth for a week now, and it’s a truly multimedia feud, encompassing TV, Twitter, and the entirety of a Charlotte Observer column. Let’s catch up!
On TV last week, Harrison predicted that Julio Jones would get the better of Norman in their Sunday matchup, and said that the Seahawks are a more dangerous team than the Panthers entering the playoffs. Norman took both of those as signs of disrespect. (Athletes love signs of disrespect. They thrive on ‘em.)
So Norman took to Twitter, and didn’t mince words.
Norman then went out and largely contained Jones in the Panthers’ 38-0 extirpation of the Falcons. The Atlanta WR hauled in seven balls for 88 yards, but the majority of his production came when he wasn’t one-on-one with Norman.
Harrison could have taken the L right there, but he decided to bring us all lots of joy by keeping this thing going. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler, Harrison blamed Jones’s quiet afternoon on Matt Ryan.
“If the entire situation was equal, with Julio Jones having a quality quarterback throwing to him, then I think Julio Jones wins that matchup because I just think he’s physically more superior than Josh.”
Norman’s response? “I will restate: You are horrible at your job.”
Fowler’s column is a great read—it was a lengthy interview with Harrison, followed by one with Norman giving the corner a chance to rebut, but it’s broken up into bite-sized chunks of disdain.
Harrison, on Norman freaking out on Twitter despite Harrison having said some very complimentary things about him:
“Before he sits there and he rips me and says I’m horrible at my job, which is very disrespectful, he needs to shut up and make sure he reads the entire quote. That’s what he needs to do. That’s being professional.”
Norman’s responses are all over the place, and they’re all brutal. A selection:
“Look, I respect what you’ve done. You went to the Super Bowl. You went to four, you got two (championship rings). I give you that. You went to the Pro Bowl. You were All-Pro. Cool. I give you that. ... But guess what? That is not your profession anymore.”
“I think he’s a bitter old guy, man. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s real. ... We don’t have to care for each other. I’m in Charlotte. You’re broadcasting wherever you’re at, wishing you could probably play again. I ain’t on that level. I’m trying to win a Super Bowl.”
That might’ve been the end of it, but last night, after the publication of Fowler’s column, Norman went to Twitter and fired off a couple of vicious retweets.
Rodney Harrison is a painfully boring Twitter user, so the next round in this beef is going to have to wait a while. We trust that Norman will still be ready to go.