CHARLOTTE – Following Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, cornerback James Bradberry spoke at his locker with a look of disgust on his face.
He was fuming over the 8-yard touchdown he gave up to rookie wide receiver Mike Evans in the first quarter.
"I'm just so upset about that play," Norman said. "I know I'm better than that."
Evans ran a fade route, and quarterback Josh McCown's throw was perfectly placed over Norman to the 6-foot-5 wide receiver in the corner of the end zone.
Was this a case where you tip your cap, or could Norman have played the throw better?
"Yes, and he knows," Rivera said. "He could have put himself in better position to try and make a play."
Said Norman: "I was in good position but I turned back inside on it. That's one of those things where it dropped in his bread basket – outside to the corner. With a guy like that, we have to play on his outside shoulder. He made a play. I'm so upset about it and frustrated about it."
Norman's frustration fueled a fantastic individual performance after Evans' touchdown reception.
"I took myself to another place and I let him know about it every chance I got to line up in front of him," Norman said.
Evans was targeted eight times but finished with just two catches for 13 yards – both season-lows for the Buccaneers' 2014 first-round draft choice.
"In a weird way, probably the best thing that happened to (Norman) was to get beat on that first play," Rivera said. "Because from that point on he played really well."
Norman has always had high expectations for himself, and he's begun living up to them as Carolina's No. 1 cornerback in his third NFL season.
"Josh Norman has really developed into what we do and how we do it," Rivera said. "We are starting to see the fruits of that labor of how hard that was to try and get him to understand that and develop."