John KeimESPN Staff WriterClose
- Covered the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and other media outlets since 1994
- Authored or co-authored three books on the Redskins and one on the Cleveland Browns
ASHBURN, Va., — Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman said Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan should have been more worried about protecting quarterback Marcus Mariota than about taunting Norman after Saturday’s loss.
Norman, who did not address the media following Saturday’s incident in Nashville, called Lewan’s actions the “maximum disrespect.” Lewan said after the tilt that he had singled out Norman because he felt he had been trying to hurt running back Derrick Henry during the game.
“Oh, you was coming for your running back? You should have made the same excuse for your quarterback, because you sure didn’t do a good job blocking for him,” Norman said. “We got young tackles and young ends and they ran through your face. That’s what he should have been worried about, his quarterback walking off the field something wrong with [his] arm. He decided to pick on a cornerback who had nothing to do with him. I don’t understand that, but that’s the guy he is.”
When Lewan sought out Norman, the cornerback was sitting on the Redskins bench. Lewan yelled “Get the f— out of my stadium!” and, as Norman threw his helmet and ran at him, Lewan shot an imaginary bow and arrow — something Norman once did to celebrate big plays. Norman swiped Lewan’s arms away, then shouted at Lewan before being pulled away.
“For a relevant player, it’s kind of crazy — if you are that relevant. Why would you come to another man’s sideline?” Norman said. “And then after you won a game, you pick fun at the player that is relevant. You go out your way to come to his bench, his sideline, to go at him in that kind of way.
“We’re not having it. We will not tolerate disrespect. That’s zero tolerance for that. That was the ultimate disrespect. You just don’t do that.”
Norman said he was sitting on the bench, upset over a loss that all but ended Washington’s playoff hopes. The Redskins were officially eliminated the following day. Norman then sat at his locker for 45 minutes after the game and was the last to leave the locker room, escorted by two team officials and with a hoodie pulled down over half his face.
“You come up to someone on the sideline like that, I don’t care how big you are, you could be a giant,” Norman said. “You step into that domain, it’s kill or be killed. That’s how I see it. I see nothing more than that. Guy had a whole foot and 135 pounds on me, but what does that matter? You tell someone get off your field, get the f— off your field, really. How about you walk off your own field. I’m gonna make you do that. That’s what we did.”
Norman said Henry approached him after the game. He initially did not want to talk to the Titans running back, but then did. That’s why he didn’t buy Lewan’s reasoning.
“How can someone hurt someone who’s 265 pounds,” Norman said. “What he should have been worried about is his quarterback, because of how our line ran through him like rocks — like water through rocks. Gosh, you would think he’d be doing a better job protecting him than worried about a running back who’s 260 pounds. Don’t make an excuse. Be a man.”
Norman said he decided to speak with Henry following Saturday’s game, after initially rebuffing Henry’s gesture of a dap.
But Norman said that once Lewan walked over to him, the “Carolina boy” in Norman came out — that his response stems from how he is wired — and he did not buy Lewan’s reasoning for the incident.