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Pete Dougherty and Aaron Nagler look at the improving play in the Packers secondary and discuss the play of quarterback Taysom Hill. Aaron Nagler/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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LANDOVER, Md. – Josh Norman once compared Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to Gandalf the White, saying he’s “the best of the best” in the NFL. Clearly, the Washington cornerback has no shortage of respect for the two-time MVP.

He showed it again Saturday night in the middle of FedEx Field. Passing time on the field during a replay review after the exhibition’s third snap, Norman chatted with Rodgers through the entire break.

At one point, Norman placed both hands on Rodgers’ shoulder pads, receiving a smile from the quarterback.

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“It was just cutting up,” Norman said. “Shooting the breeze. I think a guy like that you admire, respect his game, and likewise from him to us. It’s just a good admiration for a guy on that level.”

Norman, one of the league’s top corners, became a staunch defender of Rodgers last November when the Packers quarterback was in a rare slump. Asked what he’d seen on film, the outspoken cornerback didn’t hesitate to say he considered Rodgers to still be the game’s best quarterback.

A week later, following a blowout loss in Washington, Rodgers said he thought the Packers could run the table. They didn’t look back, winning eight straight games to clinch the NFC North and advance to the conference championship game in Atlanta.

Norman said he gets a thrill competing against Rodgers, even in the preseason.

“I’m so excited when you get to play against the best of the best,” Norman said Saturday. “No matter whether it’s preseason or regular season, you get a crack at it. All things are on that type of level when you have a conversation, so you play with it a little bit. That tipped ball, a little bit higher maybe I could’ve gotten to it. I gave him a wink and he started smiling, like smirking.

“Stuff like that makes the game fun. Having fun with it.”

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