It wouldn’t be a Carolina Panthers game without Josh Norman getting into some kind of argument with an opponent.
Norman, affectionately referred to as Carolina’s fire starter by coach Ron Rivera, had plenty to say to Tampa Bay Bucaneers rookie receiver Mike Evans in the 19-17 Carolina win on Sunday.
In the second half, Norman and Evans got into a slight scuffle that was broken up by an official. But their tiff started much earlier than that.
Evans caught an 8-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter over Norman that gave Tampa Bay the lead and put Norman in a foul mood.
“I was totally, totally (ticked) about that,” Norman said. “That’s not characteristic of me. I just took myself to another place and let him know about it every chance I got when I was in front of him. That’s that.”
What is that place like?
“I don’t know. It’s a kind of place I don’t want to take myself but we have to go there,” Norman said. “It’s just something we have to do. At the same time we have to give credit to those guys. They did their thing. They challenged us and we did (OK) for about three and a half quarters. I know I want to have one series back, the one they ended up scoring on.
“They beat us down the field and that’s uncharacteristic of us but we’ll be better.”
Evans caught just one more pass for 7 yards on the day, effectively being shut down for the remainder of the game.
Norman has been Carolina’s best cornerback this season, and in the same vein as New England’s Darrelle Revis earned the nickname “Revis Island,” Norman has taken to liking his fan-given nickname of “Lake Norman.”