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|Josh Norman thought football was difficult.
Then he appeared on "Dancing With the Stars."
The Washington Redskins cornerback had some impressive performances with dance partner Sharna Burgess on the show in Los Angeles and each week took a red-eye back to the East Coast for the team's offseason program. Norman and Burgess finished second to skater Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson.
Norman was back on the field this week with a new appreciation for dancing and a fresh approach to his day job.
"My mindset is a bit different Authentic Blake Wheeler Jersey ," Norman said Wednesday. "I can go further now than I thought I could and push myself to pretty much a new level, I feel, a new height. So now I look at things and I (used to) be like, 'That's hard.' Nah, I don't think so."
Norman didn't quite know what to expect out of "Dancing With the Stars," which included 12-hour days of learning, practicing, rehearsing and performing . Add in the cross-country flights and Norman was more fatigued than after a one-on-one showdown with Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
He approached the performances like NFL games, though, and was glad he took on the adventure that reminded him of theater class in college.
"You could be someone else," Norman said. "You could be different. Everybody is different in their own right, and everybody work to a common goal. Part of it is just going out there amongst athletes and trying to best them all."
Norman got a good laugh about going shirtless for dance routines because "there's a lot of cougars that like the shirt off" and knew voting was involved. Taking a temporary break from his pursuit of the Lombardi Trophy Brandon Manning Jersey , Norman came away crushed that he didn't help Burgess win the Mirrorball Trophy she has been trying for the past seven years.
"This was the year to break that curse and I wasn't the one to do it and it's just like, 'Dang,'" Norman said. "It's like a heart-throbbing gut-puncher that I couldn't be the one for her to get over the hump."
Norman was a winner to his teammates, a handful of whom traveled to L.A. to watch the finale Monday. Running back Chris Thompson was impressed by the dance moves and felt his teammate "got cheated."
"I never saw Josh as being a dancer, for one," Thompson said. "It was great. It was just cool just to see somebody doing something different."
Coach Jay Gruden said he watched every episode and came away impressed with Norman's rhythm, execution and willingness to balance dancing and football.
"The work that he put in to get ready for that show and also fly back out on red eyes and get here for practice or OTAs, I just really had a lot of admiration for what he did and what he accomplished because that's not easy," Gruden said. "I thought he should've won the dang thing. I think he got ripped off, to be honest with you."
Even in a losing effort, Norman figures "Dancing With the Stars" helped his physical and mental preparation, his footwork Colton Sissons Jersey , posture and focus. Call it a journey of self-discovery.
"It taught me a lot about myself," Norman said. "I grew tremendously. I wouldn't have wanted anything else from it than that."
With the Redskins in the middle of organized team activities, Norman was hardly breaking a sweat Wednesday after what he had been through under the lights each week dancing.
"This is a cakewalk," he said. "This is like picking daisies."
Having known mostly success over the past decade with the Penguins, Jason Botterill received a sobering introduction to life at the bottom of the NHL during his first season as Buffalo Sabres general manager.
”I’ve been here for one year and I was pretty (ticked) off and upset,” Botterill said during a season-ending news conference Wednesday, ”I guess I could be articulate, but I’ll just say it (stinks) that we won’t be watching live playoff hockey right now.”
Being on the outside looking in is an unusual position for Botterill, who spent the previous two Junes celebrating Stanley Cup championships as the Penguins assistant GM. He was hired last spring after the Sabres cleaned house by firing GM Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma.
If there’s anything Botterill can draw upon from his experience with the Penguins, is seeing the notable difference between what makes up a winning organization and a losing one in Buffalo .
The Sabres finished last for the third time in five years, and extended their franchise-worst playoff drought to a seventh season.
”Right now we have a losing culture here,” Botterill said.
He put the onus on himself http://www.officialsenators.com/authentic-adidas-mike-hoffman-jersey , coach Phil Housley and players to find ways of inspiring change, be it with their training habits or communication and leadership abilities.
”I don’t want to hear how disappointed they are. I want to hear what’s going to change,” Botterill said. ”It just can’t be about words. We have to have better results.”
Botterill backed the disheartening sentiments expressed by center Ryan O’Reilly during the team’s final media availability on Monday. O’Reilly said a losing mentality had crept into the locker room and led him to losing his love for playing hockey at times.
”I think he gave you an honest opinion. And in today’s sports world that’s a little bit unique,” Botterill said.
”When you don’t get the results you want, it can be really draining on a player,” he added. ”And what he said is probably indicative of a lot of our players within our organization. And that’s what we have to work through right now.”
Botterill began the news conference by saying Housley isn’t going anywhere after he struggled in his first year as coach. He credited Housley for developing some of Buffalo’s youngsters, and believes in the up-tempo style the coach began introducing this season.
As for the roster, Botterill didn’t rule out making drastic changes even if it meant shaking up the team’s core group of leaders.
”When you finish where we were, you have to look at everything,” he said.
Buffalo finished last in the NHL with 199 goals scored and 119 goals scored in five-on-five situations. The Sabres also matched a franchise low for home wins in any season by going 11-25-4 at Buffalo – not including an overtime loss to the Rangers in the Winter Classic at New York City in which the Sabres were the ”home” team.
If there was a bright side, Botterill looked forward to the draft in June, when Buffalo is guaranteed picking no worse than fourth overall John Klingberg Jersey , pending the results of the NHL’s draft lottery on April 28.
Botterill was impressed by Jack Eichel’s development on the ice, where the third-year center set career bests with 25 goals and 64 points, and off the ice in continuing to mature as a leader.
Botterill, however, said it was premature as to whether the Sabres were prepared to award the 21-year-old Eichel the captaincy, a role that was not filled this past season.
”As excited as we are of Jack moving forward as a leader, it’s imperative that we have more players in that locker room step up,” Botterill said.
”This game cannot have one player lead the entire team. It’s imperative that we have stronger leadership bases in there.”
NOTES: Botterill said G Robin Lehner will not require surgery after the starter visited a specialist this week to assess a lower body injury. … In announcing he expects rookie G Linus Ullmark to play for Buffalo full time next season, Botterill said he’s not determined his second goalie, including Lehner, who is eligible to become a restricted free agent. … Backup Chad Johnson completed his one-year contract and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.
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