With the start of the season just three days away, I’m trying not to overreact to the Josh Norman signing. Kyle Posey laid out all the potential reasons this could be bad, so I’m going to take the opposite road.
Norman’s true value at this point might come more from the neck up than the neck down. As KP said, he’s struggled recently, especially when it comes to allowing touchdowns. That said, Norman is a veteran player in the league who has had his share of ups (an All-Pro season in 2015) and downs (the brawl with Odell Beckham Jr.). Perhaps it is that wisdom that the 49ers would like to tap into and pass along to players like Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir.
As the clips of the brawl with OBJ clearly illustrate, he knows how to get under players’ skin. So maybe DeMeco Ryans are hoping a little of that mentality rubs off on some of the players in that cornerback room?
Let’s face it; if Josh Norman has to play any meaningful snaps for the team this year, things have gone horribly wrong. If, for some reason, he does need to step on the field, hopefully, an improved pass rush will take some of the pressure off of Norman (and everyone else in the secondary).
With the season less than a week away, I am choosing to whistle past the graveyard on this one.
For more on this and other 49ers news, check out the debut episode of 49ers in Five everywhere you get your podcasts.