Carolina Panthers

Seattle’s solution to Panthers’ Josh Norman? Don’t throw his way

Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (center right) gets into an argument with Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) in the first half Sunday. Norman was not targeted n the Panthers’ 27-23 victory.
Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (center right) gets into an argument with Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) in the first half Sunday. Norman was not targeted n the Panthers’ 27-23 victory. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

A few times this year, Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman has wondered aloud why quarterbacks continue to throw his way.

Russell Wilson apparently listened.

The Seahawks did not attempt a single throw past the line of scrimmage to a receiver covered by Norman, who is tied for the league lead in interceptions with four.

“Whatever it takes to win,” Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. “We’re aware of (teams potentially throwing away from him). We’ve continued to be aware of it and always try to put players in position to be successful.

“Shoot, if he can take away half the field, then that’s on them.”

Only twice was a ball thrown to Norman’s side of the field, and both times it was behind the line of scrimmage, which is hardly enough to consider a target against Norman.

The first came in the first quarter on a screen to tight end Jimmy Graham where Graham, who finished with eight catches for 140 yards, caught the pass 4 yards behind the line. Norman made the tackle on the tight end for no gain.

“We’ve all been around this thing long enough to know that if you’ve got a player that’s hot and that plays well, they’re going to go after him,” McDermott said. “But they’re going to go after him in calculated ways. And they did that yesterday with the screen, and Josh showed up. ... We ask our corners to tackle. Josh on the screen, they wanted to see if he could.”

The other screen came in the third quarter on a pass to Doug Baldwin that was caught 5 yards behind the line. Norman recognized it early, worked past Graham’s block and dropped Baldwin for a loss of 2 yards.

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