Washington cornerback Josh Norman is still beloved by many in and around the Panthers organization, and it appears the feeling is mutual.
“Playing those guys, obviously I love them,” Norman told the media this week. “My old friends, they’re coming to town. I get to see them, and we can go at each other.”
The Panthers drafted Norman out of Coastal Carolina in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He blossomed into a star during the NFC championship campaign in 2015 but then joined the Redskins as a high-priced free agent after then general manager Dave Gettleman rescinded the franchise tag.
Norman has faced his former team once before, a Monday Night Football matchup late in 2016 that Carolina won 26-15.
Norman has remained close with several Panthers, with quarterback Cam Newton at the top of the list.
“I know ‘1’ has got something special cooked up for us,” Norman said. “(Coach) Rivera, that’s my guy. All of them. You start looking at the whole squad. The defense still has guys there from when I was there, most of them. You look at that and it’s just like, ah, almost like homecooking in a way.
“Those guys know how I get down. I’m looking forward to a battle of wits and a battle of skill. I know what they’re going to do, and they know what I’m going to do.”