Burfict Responds Following Suspension
Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict finally responded about his controversial hit that not only may have cost his team a chance to move on in the playoffs, but led the NFL to reach into his wallet.
In an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson, Burfict explained how he needs to change his vicious style of play that has made him the most fined defensive player in the NFL over the past three seasons.
The hit that forced the NFL to suspend him for the first three games of the 2016 season took place in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. With 22 seconds left in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Burfict laid a pulverizing helmet-to-helmet hit on opposing WR Antonio Brown. Burfict was flagged for the hit, which helped the Steelers get in field goal range and win the game. Brown was ruled out for Pittsburgh's next game against the Denver Broncos with concussion-like symptoms.
Burfict's dangerous style of play will need to be addressed once he returns from suspension next season.
"Like I told coach [Marvin Lewis], I wish I could take that play back because I probably would've hit him low," Burfict said. "I don't like hitting low, but I have to change because it's getting flags because I hit him high or hit him in the helmet, and it's so hard to determine where to hit the offender because they're gonna tuck their body, and you have to pretty much tuck with them."
The Bengals will need to fill his void in the middle of that defense if they look to compete for their division and a possible Super Bowl title.
"My style of play is aggressive, and [the game has] changed, and I have to change with it, and that play right there, I think if I wasn't number 55, I wouldn't have got flagged," Burfict said.