Former secondary teammates Josh Norman and Captain Munnerlyn will face each other for the first time since Munnerlyn’s departure Sunday when the Panthers face the Vikings – and if you thought there would be friendly post-game hugs or handshakes between these two you got another thought coming.
When asked what he took from Munnerlyn, a six year vet to his three, Norman didn’t hold back.
“I didn’t take nothing from him. Nothing,” Norman said last week. “We weren’t very tight. Captain had me doing so much little petty stuff.”
Norman spent much of the next 10 minutes ripping his former teammate, claiming he refused to help Norman when the two competed at cornerback and saying Munnerlyn, who is 5-foot-9, had “little man syndrome.”
“I’m bigger than him. I think I’m better than him. He knew it,” said Norman, who is 6-0 and 195 pounds. “The craziest part about it was he’d try to find little things to get in my head. It was like, ‘Man, we’re on the same team. You should want to help us out.’
“He never wanted to help me out with anything. That’s why I never asked him any questions. Once I got stuff wrong from asking him, I was like, ‘I’ll find my own way around.’ ”
“I got to a point where I ignored it. I went my own way, did my own thing,” Norman said. “His locker was beside me so I couldn’t help but – whatever. He was trying to be nice here and there.”
“I knew I was going to overtake him, and he knew it, too,” Norman said. “So he was always trying to come at me about my mind and how I can’t read concepts and get stuff. ‘OK, guy, whatever.’ And he was trying to find little ways to keep me down.”
Munnerlyn said Norman’s comment kind of hurt, but clapped back by saying he didn’t respect the game and that the numbers don’t lie regarding who is the better player.
“With him saying I never helped him, it kind of hurts,” Munnerlyn said Saturday during a phone interview. “Me being there for his first two years, I know when Josh came to me with a question, I always helped him. And I never felt threatened about Josh at all. At the end of the day, coach is going to put the best player on the field and they’re going to play.”
“We can go back and forth and say, ‘He’s a better player than me. He’s a lot bigger.’ But at the end of the day, you put up my numbers to his numbers, numbers don’t lie,” Munnerlyn said. “I just go out there and play football. I don’t care how big I am and I don’t care who’s in my way.”
“He’s a guy with a lot of confidence. Don’t get me wrong. … I always said when Josh, from his first year when he struggled a little bit, he lost a little confidence. He wasn’t the Josh Norman that we knew. And he’s building his confidence back,” Munnerlyn said.
“But at the same time, you’ve got to respect the game. You’ve got to respect the people who put in the work before you – if they’re not that much older than you or if they’ve been in the league – you’ve got to respect them, man. And that’s something I think Josh lacks. He just don’t respect the game.”
Well, that should serve to make things more interesting this Sunday.