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Redskins Playbook: Shadow coverage, and more, in play for Josh Norman in 2017

Redskins Playbook: Shadow coverage, and more, in play for Josh Norman in 2017

Josh Norman came to Washington last season with the reputation as the best cornerback in the NFL. He played well his first year with the Redskins, but statistically, his numbers weren't enough to get to the Pro Bowl.

A number of would-be interceptions slipped through Norman's fingers, seemingly every week, and his play outpaced his INT total. Still, especially early in the year, it seemed the Redskins weren't maximizing Norman's value. 

Never was that more apparent than the first two weeks of the season when the Redskins got burnt by Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and Dallas' Dez Bryant. Former Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry insisted that Norman not shadow the opposition's best wideout. Eventually, that strategy changed, but not until much damage was inflicted. 

With Greg Manusky now in charge of the 'Skins defense, will Norman travel with the other team's best receiver? 

"Will we do that? Yeah," Manusky said last week after an OTA session.

Manusky explained that it's "important" to allow corners to travel with certain receivers, but he also won't demand it if a player isn't comfortable. The full answer made clear that the Redskins won't force Norman to move with wideouts, but at the same time, expect the $75 million corner to have more opportunities to make plays. 

"I think just from a football perspective, he feels it and he knows it," Manusky said of Norman. "And I think they’re the players that you want on the field and that’s what he has. He has that feel for it, and when the ball is coming out, he can break on it."

That could mean more off-man coverage for Norman, allowing him to watch the offense develop more than press coverage allows. 

"In a situation with Josh, we’re trying to play him a little bit off and have vision and see the quarterback, man-to-man situations and in zones, [it’s] something that he’s I think been taught a little bit before but some of that is a little bit different, and he’s made some plays," Manusky said. 

Think back through the Redskins 16 games last season, and Norman easily could have doubled his interception total just by hanging on to a few more footballs. He's an elite athlete, and it would not be crazy to think that total will jump in 2017. 

Manusky seems ready to let Norman make plays, which suits a playmaker.

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Josh Norman just found a loophole for his illegal bow and arrow celebration

Josh Norman just found a loophole for his illegal bow and arrow celebration

That Josh Norman is one sneaky fellow, isn't he?

Earlier this month, the NFL officially banned players from celebrating big plays with a bow and arrow gesture during a game. That just so happens to be Norman's go-to move, and something he used a few times last season when he was particularly excited.

But with the league's recent announcement, it was assumed that he'd never do it again, since it's an automatic flag and would probably lead to a fine, too. You know what people love to say about assuming, though...

So, the very first time Norman stepped on his home turf in 2017 for a game, he bow and arrow'd when the NFL said he couldn't bow and arrow. That's bold, Josh.

MORE: REDSKINS-PACKERS LIVE BLOG

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Redskins vs. Packers Preseason Live Updates: Week 2 score, stats, highlights, analysis

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Redskins vs. Packers Preseason Live Updates: Week 2 score, stats, highlights, analysis

Week 2 of the NFL preseason is here as the Redskins take on the Packers on Saturday night.

Following the Redskins' 23-3 loss to the Ravens in Week 1, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins starters will look to continue their development again against Green Bay. Head coach Jay Gruden plans to play the starters for at least a full quarter.

The Redskins-Packers preseason game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. and will be aired on CSN Mid-Atlantic. Redskins Kickoff begins a 6:30 p.m. ET, as Chick Hernandez, Brian Mitchell and Trevor Matich get your prepared for the game with 60 minutes of pregame coverage. (Channel Finder)

CSN Mid-Atlantic is here to provide all the live updates, stats, score, highlights, video and analysis from the Redskins and Ravens. If you have a comment about the game, be sure to leave a comment in the section below the article.

REDSKINS VS. PACKERS WEEK 2 PRESEASON LIVE UPDATES

8:32 PM - First-team defense is done for the night early in the second quarter.

End of 1st Quarter - Packers 7, Redskins 3
-Redskins' first team offense gets their first 1st down of the preseason on final play of quarter.

8:14 PM - We go down one blogger, Pete Hailey is cramping up after a slow off-season. Will try and tough it out but his return is questionable.

8:11 PM - Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers and majority of Green Bay first-team head to bench on second offensive series. Their night is done. 

8:07 PM - Touchdown, Packers

Bennett 3 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick)
Drive: 15 plays, 75 yards, 7:41
Drive summary: The Packers got their drive started with some Aaron Rodgers artistry. Or a cheap trick, whatever you want to call it. He went no huddle on third and five and on a replay review the Redskins were caught with 12 men on the field. One pass to Davante Adams and two to Jordy Nelson got the Packers into Redskins territory. On third and six, Rodgers scrambled for 13 yards to the 13. A hands to the face penalty set up a first and goal at the four. On second down, Rogers threw a fade to TE Martellus Bennett, who fought the ball away from ILB Zach Brown.

Packers 7, Redskins 3

7:53 PM - Redskins get caught with too many players on the field after a forcing a three-and-out. Packers get a first down.

7:46 PM - FG, Redskins  

FG Hopkins 34
Drive: 4 plays, 0:17, 0 yards
Drive summary: The Redskins had a golden opportunity after the Packers fumbled a punt and Niles Paul recovered at the Green Bay 16. But after three incomplete passes the Redskins had to go for three and Dustin Hopkins put it through. 

Redskins 3, Packers 0

7:44 PM - Morgan Moses returns to the field at right tackle.

7:42 PM - On the punt return, the Packers muff the kick, Niles Paul recovered the loose ball at the Packers 16-yard line.

7:39 PM - Morgan Moses goes down on the second offensive play. He is helped to the sideline by the trainers, replaced by Ty Nsekhe at right tackle.

7:34 PM -  Josh Norman uses his infamous bow-and-arrow celebration during player introductions. No flag.

6:50 PM - Get excited, Redskins fans:

6:45 PM - And it's official:

6:30 PM - We'll just leave this right here:

5:10 PM - Preseason games are what they are: Not all that great after the first quarter. But there's value in the games. Here are the three things you should be watching for.

5:05 PM - I implore you to follow me on Twitter. I'm great. You can also follow Our @CSNRedskins account, which is equally great. Our Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are OK too. 

5:00 PM - The 2017 NFL preseason rolls on as the Redskins take on the Packers in Week 2 of the preseason at FedEx Field. As is the case again this season, I am Troy Machir, and I will be guiding you through the live blog of tonight's preseason game.