During the offseason, the Bills added depth to their secondary by signing veteran cornerback Josh Norman.
Many had written Norman off after a less than spectacular tenure in Washington, but Norman decided to come to Buffalo and attempt to prove the doubters wrong. In signing with the Bills, Norman joined Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott, who Norman had his greatest success under back in Carolina with the Panthers.
After an injury caused him to end up on the injured reserve list to start the season, Norman told the media via video conference. “I was up in a box, pissed off.” Activated just a day prior to the game, due to the new COVID-19 rules, Norman certainly made his presence felt almost immediately.
When cornerback Levi Wallace had to leave the game with an ankle injury early, it was Norman’s time to shine.
With the Bills leading by only seven points in the fourth quarter, Norman made perhaps the defensive play of the game, knocking the ball out of TE Darren Waller’s hands and recovering his own fumble:
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) October 4, 2020
“Coach told us somebody needed to make a play,” Norman said. “So I told myself, I’ll do it, I’ll make a play.”
The Bills ended up feeding off of that momentum and driving down the field to score a touchdown that ended up being the difference in the game.
In his own interesting way, Norman described his excitement to finally being able to help the Bills defense.
“Guys really invited me to the party,” Norman said. “It was one of those things, they was having a pizza party and I was like, ‘Shoot I’m knocking on the door, y’all not gonna let me in?’ So I had to kick it down.”
Norman’s teammates were also thankful for his return to the field.
“I don’t know if we win the game without him,” wide receiver Cole Beasley said.
Running Devin Singletary also explained how excited the team was when Norman was able to jar the ball loose for the fumble, telling the media that everyone was, “crunk” on the sideline.
Sean McDermott seemed to agree with Beasley’s assessment of Norman’s importance.
“Josh Norman brings the same dog mentality (Stefon) Diggs does,” McDermott said after the game. “It affected the defense in a major way in the second half of this game.”
While the offense has certainly been the story through the first four games of the season, despite their struggles, the defense headlined by Norman was a big part of getting the job done on Sunday vs. the Raiders.
Norman concluded his media availability by telling reporters that he has a new appreciation for the game since arriving in Buffalo.
“I’m just glad to be apart of this,” Norman said. “We’re 4-0 and you can’t have a better feeling than this.”
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) October 5, 2020
While the Bills have one all-pro CB in Tre’Davious White, perhaps a career resurgence for the 32-year old Norman, isn’t as farfetched as some had originally thought.