- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

ASHBURN — The biggest part of Josh Norman’s transition to the Washington Redskins has been adjusting to his new teammates, which extends beyond the defensive players the cornerback will take the field with on game days.

He has embraced competing against fresh faces in practice, most notably wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

“The first day was cool,” Norman said. “The second day he came out and gave me that work. I enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing more of that.”

That competition is also why Norman was disappointed Jackson was absent from organized team activities on Wednesday at Redskins Park. Jackson missed voluntary offseason workouts the last two weeks, but returned earlier this week before missing Wednesday’s session.

“I was like, ‘Dang, this guy.’ I called him up and he didn’t answer my phone call,” Norman said jokingly. “It’s cool though. To each his own. If doesn’t want to be here he ain’t got to be here. It’s voluntary.”

After last week, coach Jay Gruden and teammates reiterated that they were confident Jackson would show up prepared when he did in fact report. That seemed to be the case during practice on Monday and Tuesday; both sessions were closed to the media.

“He looks very healthy,” offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. “He was here yesterday, did a great job, made some big plays. DeSean is a smart player, able to pick up where he left off. Has natural awareness and instincts and the big play ability gives us a different dimension and advantage offensively.”

Jackson also missed a portion of OTAs last season while filming a reality television show. He sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder in August and missed the preseason. In the season opener, Jackson tore his left hamstring and did not return until Week 9. He caught 30 passes for 528 yards and four touchdowns.

Gruden said Jackson appears in “good shape” since returning to the team and that the wide receiver will participate in mandatory minicamp next week.

“It’s voluntary for these players to show up here, we want them all to be here but I trust that if he’s not here, he’s getting his body ready to go and he’s proved that the last couple of days,” Gruden said. “He looked as fast as he’s ever been, had great stamina, was in good shape, had great knowledge of the game and was a lot stronger than I’ve seen him before. DeSean is going to be just fine.”

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