CLEVELAND -- Washington cornerback Josh Norman has a history of getting under the skin of opposing wide receivers and taking the best pass-catchers in the National Football League out of rhythm and off their games.
But as the Cleveland Browns prepare to face off against Washington at FedEx Field Sunday, head coach Hue Jackson is not worried about talking with wide receiver Terrelle Pryor needing to keep his focus going against Norman.
“I think Terrelle understands that we have to do what is best for our team,” Jackson said after Thursday’s practice. “We can’t get into any personal battles. It is not about Terrelle Pryor and Josh Norman. It is really about the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins.
“That is what we have talked about as a team. It is not about any of those other personal matchups. I think Terrelle will do what is right. I think our whole team will, and that is what I expect our guys to do.”
Considered among the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Norman was traded to Washington from the Carolina Panthers in the offseason after earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro status with the reigning NFC Champions, and he has already registered 17 total tackles, seven passes defended and a forced fumble in three games this season.
Now in his fifth NFL season, Norman has defended 44 passes, intercepted seven throws, which he has returned for 172 yards and two touchdowns, forced five fumbles and registered 198 total tackles, 151 of which have been solo stops.
“He is very competitive,” Jackson said of Norman. “He is long, he is sudden and he is quick. He likes to play. I don’t think he likes when people catch the ball on him. He is one of the best cornerbacks in this league. He knows how to take receivers out of the games. It will be a good challenge for us.”
When Pryor was not alternating snaps at quarterback with rookie Cody Kessler in the loss to the Dolphins, he posted career highs with seven receptions for 144 yards and rushed for 21 more with one touchdown on four carries.
In addition to registering his first career 100-yard receiving game, Pryor became the first NFL player since Houston Texans wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, a Cleveland native, to have 20 or more yards rushing, receiving and passing in a single game.
And Jackson is hoping to take advantage of Pryor’s skills against Norman and Washington in hopes that the Browns will generate their first win of the season Sunday.
“My disappointment is we haven’t played the way I think we can play yet because I don’t think we have even come close to the offense that I want us to be,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, in the future, as we get some continuity here and some people can stay healthy and we get some people back, we can start being what I envision us being on offense.”