Here's the reported reason why Josh Norman was benched against the Saints on Monday night
Norman had his headphones on during Jay Gruden's halftime speech
On Monday night, the New Orleans Saints hung a whole lot of points on Washington, with Drew Brees smoking the Washington defense to the tune of 26 of 29 for 363 yards and three touchdowns. Brees spread the ball to eight different receivers, each of whom had multiple catches. After the Saints put up 26 points in the first half, Washington coach Jay Gruden actually benched star corner Josh Norman.
If you ask star Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas why that happened, he'll tell you that it's because , even when he wasn't getting the ball. According to Kevin Sheehan, however, there's another reason: Norman got caught with his headphones on.
Here's the full quote from Sheehan, per Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post.
"The reason Josh Norman was benched for the start of the second half against the Saints had very little to do with him getting lost in coverage. At halftime, according to my source, he put his headphones on while the coaches were addressing the team. Jay Gruden told him to take them off. He either didn't hear Jay or he ignored him, but with that, I was told, the headphones were removed. By whom? My source says that he believes it was Gruden who removed the headphones from Norman's head. But regardless, Gruden benched him to start the third quarter, and that was the reason why. My source also tells me that there is not a lot of good vibes when it comes to Norman among several of the coaches right now. Not much they can do about it."
Well, that's definitely not the best sign.
Norman hasn't necessarily been elite this season (he has allowed 10 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 15 throws in his direction, according to Sports Info Solutions), but it's not like he has been getting consistently torched, either. Having problems with the coaching staff off the field, though, could lead to reduced playing time or even a slip in actual performance.
Washington's 2-2 right now, in a virtual tie with Philadelphia for first place in the division. There's still plenty of time to make a run for the playoffs if Jay Gruden's team gets things worked out.
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