Norman respects, wants to beat Manning

(STATS) - Josh Norman knows the biggest storyline surrounding Super Bowl 50. He's even a fan of it.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who was a childhood hero of Norman, is trying to win football's biggest game in what is being speculated as the NFL legend's final game.

Oh yes, Norman, the Carolina Panthers' Pro Bowl cornerback out of Coastal Carolina, is determined to prevent a Manning victory lap with what he considers an even better storyline - his franchise winning the Super Bowl for the first time Sunday night at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

"I know he wants to go out with a big win," Norman said. "This is my first time ever being in the Super Bowl, this is his (fourth). I'm rooting for him, but shoot, I want that ring. I'm going to do everything I can to try to minimize what he likes to do. But I respect the heck out of the guy."

Norman could play a big part in writing the possible final chapter for the 39-year-old Manning, whom he refers to as "The Sheriff." He will be assigned to shut down the Broncos' top wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Norman, considered one of the NFL's top cover corners and a finalist for its defensive player of the year award, will give away about three inches of height and about 35 pounds to Thomas, who had 105 receptions in the regular season.

"He's a tough competitor," Norman said. "He's a big guy. He has speed, he has size. He has abilities to get over the top of you and make plays. It's going to fun, interesting and exciting."

The NFC champion Panthers are 17-1, including the playoffs. The AFC champion Broncos are 14-4.