The Carolina Panthers take the good and the bad with cornerback Josh Norman, and the bad reared its head again in Sunday’s 31-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Norman has been Carolina’s top cornerback in the second half of the season, but he went across the line in the loss when he taunted Vikings receiver Charles Johnson in the first half.
“I ain’t going to apologize for my aggressiveness on the play, going for the ball,” Norman said after the game. “I’m just not going to do it. But I will apologize for the penalty if that was the case.”
Norman said he was surprised by the penalty, and he said he didn’t use any profane language, which the league has cracked down on this year.
A personal foul penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct draws an immediate $8,268 fine from the NFL. It’s the second game in a row Norman has drawn a fine. He also was involved in a scuffle against the Falcons.
“That’s something that’s going to transpire,” Norman said of the penalty against the Vikings. “I’ve done it before but I never thought they were going to come back with that. Next time, just be smart about certain situations. It was an aggressive play and I’m not going to apologize for it.”
The penalty came after an incomplete pass from Teddy Bridgewater on second-and-4. Had Norman been quiet, the Vikings would have faced third down with 2:51 left in the first half.
Instead, Minnesota got the first down and went on to score a touchdown that increased its lead to 28-6 going into halftime.
“I really like the way Josh has played,” defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said Monday. “He brings that confidence, he’s been in good position. He’s doing a good job.
“The part that got away from him (Sunday), even though I love the emotional and passionate side that he brings, is he went across the line and lost his poise. He can’t do that. We always want to make the opponent earn every yard. We didn’t do that enough. Josh’s play was one and we talked about it and addressed it halftime. He’s got to grow and learn from it.”