Redskins cornerback Josh Norman was named the No. 59 player on the NFL's annual Top 100 players list after a strong first season in Washington.
For the second year in a row, Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is viewed as one of the best players in the NFL by his peers.
On Monday evening, Norman was named the No. 59 player on the NFL's Top 100 Players list for 2017, voted on by current NFL players.
Norman is the third Redskins player named to this year's list, joining quarterback Kirk Cousins (No. 70) and tight end Jordan Reed (No. 65). The Coastal Carolina product was the No. 11 player on the list in 2016 following an All-Pro campaign.
In his first season with the Redskins, Norman collected 67 tackles along with three interceptions and two fumbles forced.
Norman's first interception of the year came against the Cleveland Browns, as he jumped a ball intended for Terrelle Pryor Sr. in a Week 4 victory for Washington. It was redemption for Norman after a tough first half against Pryor, who now, of course, is his teammate.
"Second half I went to a dark place, like shut him down, lock him down," Norman said. "Feet in the ground and just play your game, man. Don't worry about nothing else, coach called this, called that. Execute flawlessly. I did, I saw the play coming, I knew it kind of going through the film study of what he likes to do, and as soon as I did, just saw my moment and captured it."
Then in Washington's Week 16 41-21 victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Norman tallied two of the Redskins' five interceptions on the afternoon.
"It was big," Norman said. "I think the first half, we had one, and [Matt] Barkley just kept throwing the ball. One, I was pissed off – came out pissed off in the second half. I really did. There was a lot of stuff going on. I didn't really think that was supposed to be, but that's the game. You've got to continue to play through.
Check out these photos of Josh Norman from his 2016 season with the Redskins.
"That second half, like I said, I got to the point where I felt disrespected, so I came out and man, I was just locked in. I went to a whole different place, went to a dark place in my mind and just said enough is enough. God helped me out with that because I said a quick prayer. I said, 'Look, man, we've got to get this out of here. Let them stop this crap.' And it did. We came out and had a whole other different half."
Norman said he thought 2016 was "one of the best solid years that I have put together."
"It was super solid just because how much things I was attacked with but I still came out and made it successful," Norman said. "If you really truly go back and look at that year, I'm still looking at it like, 'Wow.' Yes, I think I could have held onto a couple more balls, but I was just in such an aggressive mind-state that those things happen. Now that I have this year, I am a little bit more relaxed and it should come to me a bit better."
As he seeks improvement on the foundation he built in his first season in Washington, teammates have already seen the impact Norman has on the football field. The hope is that it will continue in 2017.
"With Josh, he was a guy who came up on the radar late and we felt like he instantly makes us better," said safety DeAngelo Hall. "Just as far as his energy and attitude it just came with this team and he at no point isolated himself. He kind of came in and didn't act like he was better than anybody else. He just came in as one of the guys and I think everybody kind of gravitated towards him because of that. He was easy to get along with and easy to talk to. He just fit perfect with us."