CHARLOTTE – Cornerback Josh Norman came up with what most people would describe as an unbelievable interception to seal Sunday's victory over the New Orleans Saints, yet teammate after teammate described it as simply Norman being Norman.
That's because they've seen Norman make a similar play before – as in early in the week.
"That's his second amazing pick," quarterback Cam Newton said, referencing an interception Norman made in practice leading up to Sunday's victory. "One time a week, now that the season has started, we get an opportunity to go against the (first-team) defense, and that's in two-minute. … There were like 12 seconds left, and we've got two opportunities to go to the end zone. I throw a fade to a receiver, and Josh makes a play just like that.
"It's safe to say I gave him his preparation. It's incredible to see practice carry over to the game."
While Norman's play in practice won him bragging rights, the one Sunday earned the Panthers their first 3-0 start since 2003. Clinging to a 27-22 lead with just over a minute left and the Saints down to Carolina's 23-yard line, Norman skied high to pick a pass in the end zone intended for wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Here's what some of his other teammates had to say about the play.
Head coach Ron Rivera: "It's just a Josh Norman play. When the young man gets the opportunity to play with vision, he gets the opportunity to make plays. He is a playmaker."
Tight end Greg Olsen: "That was unbelievable. We needed that bad. He's a special talent, no question about it. It was a critical play that saved the game. Who knows what happens if you just bats that down? What else can you say? It was an incredible interception."
Safety Roman Harper: "It's typical J-No. He's definitely going to make it pretty. Full extension, horizontal to the ground. That's just what he does. You see him do it every day in practice. He's just not going to give up. He's a gritty guy. He fights and competes every play."
Right guard Trai Turner: "I had a perfect view. I saw it and ran right on the field. It looked like an amazing play. He snagged it and tucked it in."
Center Ryan Kalil: "Awesome. I was really happy with it. Josh is playing really well for us, and he's making big plays. Obviously, I'm happy he's on our team."
View game action photos from Carolina's 27-22 win over New Orleans.