Former Crimson Tide receiver Kevin Norwood was known for his catching ability and reliability while in Tuscaloosa. Since Norwood left Alabama, he has found it difficult to catch on and earn a starting position in the NFL.
Norwood was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 4th round with the 123rd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. During his brief NFL career, Norwood has only played in nine games and has nine catches for 102 yards.
The problem for Norwood in Seattle was the system they run. Yes, he didn’t make the plays needed to earn more playing time, but he was not a fit in the up-tempo offense. Norwood played in a pro-style offense while at Alabama with a lot of intermediate routes and limited, calculated deep passes.
The Seahawks run more of an up-tempo offense that runs first and tries to defeat you with long passes, much like the Ohio State offense. In Seattle, Norwood couldn’t fit in with the pace and tempo that fits smaller receivers much better.
Norwood was first thought to have been released from the Seahawks, but it was later revealed that he was traded to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2017. The Panthers are a team in need of a receiver with the recent loss of star wide out Kelvin Benjamin for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL.
Second-year receiver Corey Brown has six drops in his last two preseason games and has been very inconsistent. He is 0-for-8 on passes from quarterback Cam Newton in those games. Rookie receiver Devin Funchess (hamstring) has been sidelined most of the preseason.
With the change of scenery, Norwood will make the switch to a slower tempo and to an offense that he feels comfortable in. A depleted receiving core will only increase Norwood’s chances to make an immediate impact in Carolina.
Ivan L. White is a staff writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Facebook, via @ilwhite1.