Josh Norman calls Roddy White the Falcons' 'fifth receiver'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman referred to wide receiver Roddy White on Wednesday as Atlanta's "fifth receiver.''

His comment came two days after White said Norman wasn't a "tough guy" and that Norman's success has a lot do with Carolina's scheme more so than him being a shutdown corner.

The Panthers (14-0) face the Falcons (7-7) on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

"I know Julio [Jones] is leading right now, receivers wise,'' Norman said of the Falcons. "Roddy, I think, is their fifth receiver coming in behind the tight end and running backs.

"I think he has one reception for a touchdown this year, so we're going to try to hold him out as much as we can."

White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and Atlanta's all-time leader in receiving yards (10,786), actually is fourth for Atlanta in 2015 with 37 receptions and 429 yards receiving.

Norman, who has one more touchdown than White this season, was accurate in the touchdown count.

White isn't the only player to take a shot at Norman, who was named to his first Pro Bowl on Tuesday. Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins wrote on Twitter last week that Norman was the "best cover 3 corner lol.''

He later deleted it.

Norman said he must be doing something "very, very well" if people are criticizing him.

"There is a saying ... if you don't have haters, then you're not poppin'," Norman said. "It's pretty cool, at the same time knowing that guys that we face have a little bit of animosity toward us. It's cool. I would, too."

One of the examples Norman used last year to show he had emerged as one of the league's top corners was how well he defended Jones.

In two games against Carolina, Jones had a combined 10 catches for 107 yards and no touchdowns. Jones averaged 6.9 catches for 106.2 yards a game in 2014.

Earlier this year, Jones had four catches for 33 yards and no touchdowns when Norman was defending him. Jones is averaging 8.4 catches and 110.2 yards this season.

"Like I said before, man," Norman said, "if those guys continue to have issues and problems with me and my coverages and the way I play, I must be doing it well to the point where I am hearing all this backlash."