The Giants face Washington in a Thanksgiving Night game at FedEx Field about six months from now, but Josh Norman already is preheating the oven for that holiday meal.
The outspoken Washington cornerback and Odell Beckham Jr. nemesis had some unflattering things to say about the Giants receiver — both in terms of his play and his personality — in a recent interview with Bleacher Report.
“He tries to be a tough guy,” Norman said. “He tries to put on this persona which he’s not . . . He does things that he normally wouldn’t do because of all the pressure and added hype that he has to put on his whole persona. He’s not this guy. If you go back and watch the games in which we play compared to the games we don’t play each other, he’s a totally different guy. When people get physical, tough, like the Minnesota game, he acts out. He’s a kid. He’s a big kid, man.”
The Beckham-Norman feud essentially began late in the 2015 season when the Giants faced the Panthers, Norman’s team at the time. There were some words exchanged between the two leading up to the game and some threatening gestures by the Panthers players during warmups. Then, when the game began, the two players essentially brawled on every snap until Beckham launched himself at Norman and drew a penalty.
“I wish I would’ve let myself go that game,” Norman told Bleacher Report. “That’s one game I wish I would’ve let myself go.”
Asked if that meant throwing down with Beckham in a fistfight, Norman said: “Everything. The whole thing. I was held back by trying to play it cool, trying to be a good guy.’’
As for Beckham’s play, Norman seemed rather bored by the challenge of having to cover him (and fellow NFC rival Dez Bryant of the Cowboys).
“It’s the worst,” he said of his move to the NFC East last year. “Because I’m just battling ‘guys.’ I’m not battling against something I can call ‘greatness.’ I’m not enhancing my craft. Don’t get me wrong. They’re tough. But they’re not [Julio Jones- tough]. Not even close. Or Antonio Brown. Someone I can actually get myself better with — my every move. He got me right here? OK, if he got me there, let me think on this. I’ve got to come back this way. You know? I can’t do that with them guys.”
Beckham has not been with the Giants during OTAs this week, but he told the NFL Network he will be in attendance for the mandatory minicamp in mid-June. That could be the first time Beckham speaks to the assembled media since the Giants’ playoff loss in Green Bay in January.
Add this to the list of questions that will be presented to him.