Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Only a Frustrated Brown Will Slow Wr

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Only a Frustrated Brown Will Slow Wr

Article excerpt

To help deal with star receivers such as Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr. in their division, the Washington Redskins invested heavily in the offseason in a cornerback who will go to extreme measures to battle an opposing player.

But, before he gets to face those receivers twice a year, Josh Norman will have to face the player who has put together the most productive three-season receiving stretch in NFL history ? Antonio Brown.

The Steelers don't have to worry about Brown, their All-Pro receiver, being ready for a season-opening game tonight against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. They just want to be sure he doesn't get too caught up in his matchup with Norman, who signed a five-year, $75 million contract after the Carolina Panthers rescinded his franchise tag.

"Every day is game day for AB," offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. "There is no second speed for him. It's always the same. It's a beautiful thing about him. When you get into matchups against big-time players that have a little bit of a reputation, we just have to make sure that he stays focused on the right things."

That is not always easy with Norman. He had four interceptions, returning a league-tying two for touchdowns, and gained a quick reputation for being a lockdown corner that opposing quarterbacks were reluctant to test. He also forced three fumbles, recovered two and was named first-team All-Pro for the first time in his four-year career.

But he seemed to gain more notoriety for his nasty battle with Beckham, a New York Giants star receiver, in a Week 15 game in which Norman eventually was fined $26,000 and Beckham was suspended one game.

"He is one of the best in the business," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Norman. "I would imagine he is going to provide some versatility for them from a coverage standpoint that will allow them to focus on guys like Antonio Brown and work to minimize him in a variety of ways. …

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