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New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz added another reason to watch the Giants’ Week 3 game against the Washington Redskins.
However, after Norman drew criticism for spending most of Week 1 not defending Pittsburgh Steelers’ star receiver Antonio Brown, Cruz decided to take some shots at Washington’s $75-million cornerback.
“If he calls himself – I don’t call him this, he calls himself the best corner in the league – then you have to go cover the best receivers on the other team,” Cruz told reporters Wednesday (via ESPN). “Going in, I thought he was going to follow [Antonio Brown] all over the place, but he didn’t. So it is what it is. He made his choice.”
Cruz isn’t alone in his criticism. Many in the NFL world wondered why the Redskins would invest so heavily in a cornerback, only to put him on the opposite side of the field against, arguably, the league’s best receiver. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden later said it was a result of the team’s defensive scheme. Brown finished with 126 yards and two touchdowns and was rarely matched up with Norman, as the Steelers won 38-16.
Cruz continued, “It’s always his choice. He can go to the powers that be and say, ‘Hey, I want to cover this guy.’ And if they say no, if maybe he did that and they say no, then I’ll have to eat my words. But for the most part, you can go make that request.”
Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins got a shot in, too, adding, “I think when you’re paying someone $70 million, there shouldn’t be no game plan. The game plan should be, you’re on this guy and that’s what it is.”
After the loss to the Steelers, Norman chafed at the criticism coming his way, saying “who really frickin cares” if he covers Brown or another receiver, calling it “hogwash.”
However, when Cruz was asked whether he expects Norman to cover other Giants receivers when the two teams face off in Week 3, he changed his tune.
“He didn’t get into a fisticuffs with those guys last year, so it will be different,” Cruz said. “I’d be a little surprised given the circumstances if he doesn’t follow Odell around the field. I’d be a little surprised, to be honest.”
The NFL world is eager to see Norman prove himself as the league’s top cornerback, and the Giants seem to be giving him plenty of motivation for Week 3.