LONDON – Josh Norman launched into an impassioned rant against a field official as frustrations boiled over following the Washington Redskins’ 27-27 tie against the Cincinnati Bengals at Wembley Stadium.
Norman was infuriated by his treatment at the hands of official Brad Freeman, and singled him out for criticism in his postgame news conference.
“Who is 88?” Norman said, referencing Freeman’s number. “I just got to know. Who is official 88? He sucked. Just got to be honest with you. I’m going to be straightforward. He was terrible and I feel he like should be reprimanded. I feel like some of the plays that was going on out there ... it was terrible.”
Norman’s criticism puts him at risk of being fined by the National Football League, but the controversial cornerback insisted that Freeman should face sanction over his calls during the game.
“I am baffled by it,” Norman added. “To the point where all my teammates are feeling like that, I speak on it. It is what it is. I feel like they really need to sit down and look at that.
“Come on man, everybody is watching. This is how I feel and how the team feels. I am speaking on their behalf here and now. The (officials) reprimand us, where is the reprimand for them?”
Norman, who was cleared to play after suffering a concussion last week, was flagged five times on the day, with the Bengals accepting three of the penalties. Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, who was Norman's primary responsibility for most of the day, finished with nine catches for 121 yards on 18 targets. According to Pro Football Focus, Green had five catches for 76 yards on 11 targets when facing Norman.
Apart from the result and his frustration with the officiating, Norman appeared to enjoy his trip to London, bringing the world’s most expensive soccer player, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, to the game as his guest.
Yet as the Redskins venture back to the east coast there will be much to reflect upon heading into a bye week, especially the knowledge that after two missed opportunities in consecutive weeks, they could be sitting at 6-2, instead of 4-3-1.
However, Norman refused to cast blame on kicker Dustin Hopkins, whose missed 34-yard field goal deep into overtime could have iced the contest
“If you want to throw out trash for missing those field goals, I think you suck,” Norman said, as a message to any fans planning to blame Hopkins for the failure to win. “To put this game on him terrible, I just want you to know that. It is not one guy. We all try to do our best in our individual game. Things fall down or come up short, just make an extra play.”