Bengals defend Burfict in wake of $75,000 fine

“I don’t think he did anything wrong,” Lewis said. “We were not in the wrong here, in my opinion.”

Like our Cincinnati Bengals News Now Facebook page

The league obviously disagreed, fining Burfict $75,000 for his actions against Blount, and those alone.

Some had also questioned Burfict’s hit on New England tight end Martellus Bennett earlier in the fourth quarter, a play Lewis defended in his Monday press conference before video of the Blount incident surfaced.

“He goes on the pump fake,” Lewis said of the play where Burfict dives into the back of Bennett’s leg while the ball sailed over both of their heads to wide receiver Danny Amendola for a 17-yard gain.

“He (Tom Brady) pump-faked a couple of times and ended up getting sacks, or he pump faked a couple of times and made plays for them, and that was one of them,” Lewis added.

>>>>RELATED: Tyler Eifert returns to practice

Burfict’s day went from bad worse when a few hours after being informed of the fine he suffered an ankle injury and left practice early, although Lewis said after practice the injury is not believed to be serious.

Wednesday marked the seventh time Burfict has been fined, with the fees totaling $271,454. And that’s on top of $502,941 in lost wages from his three-game suspension for repeated violations of the player-safety rules.

Lewis said those past transgressions were “100 percent” the reason for the scrutiny placed on Burfict in wake of the New England game.

“That’s the thing he knows he’s got to realize all the time, so it’s not the national fury all the time of what’s going on,” Lewis said. “I don’t think he meant to do anything. I’ve been through it back and forth (on a screen) as big as this board behind me. I see him try to step through and try to go help the teammate (Shawn Williams) that has somebody from the other team (Blount) that has his hand on his teammate’s facemask, pushing him in the face. That’s what he’s trying to get to.”

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

Several of Burfict’s teammates also defended him as more of a marked man than a loose cannon.

“He’s (targeted), but everybody knows what it is,” cornerback Adam Jones said. “At a certain point you just have to go play football and try not to let it bother you the way you play.

“Quite, frankly, I think we need more guys with some more emotions,” Jones added. “Do we need to control them at certain times? Yeah. But the man is being paid to be a hired hitman. There’s only a couple linebackers that plays with that type of aggression. Those are the great ones. Go back and look at it. I’m not saying Ray Lewis was a dirty player or anything, but him and Vontaze have the same characteristics. Exactly the same. It’s just Ray Lewis grew up and found another piece of life and changed his way about doing things. Vontaze young, he’s 26 years old. He’ll learn.”

Like Jay Morrison on Facebook

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth was still upset about the assertion by some that Burfict’s hit on Bennett was dirty.

Whitworth said that narrative was based solely on Burfict’s past and not the facts of the play.

“Anybody that understands anything about football knows that that play was a pump fake where they threw it at the tight end, Vontaze put his head down and dove at the tight end’s legs like every linebacker in the National Football League does to tackle those big guys,” Whitworth said. “Martellus even stuck his hands up for a minute thinking he was getting the ball. The story is not that Vontaze got up and apologized to him and said ‘I didn’t realize you weren’t getting the ball.’ Martellus has even said that. The story is that Vontaze is a monster for doing that. Why? Because everyone wants a story. It’s not a story. It’s irrelevant to talk about it.”

Reader Comments

Next Up in Sports

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is all about business, on and off the field
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is all about business, on and off the field
LOS ANGELES — Russell Wilson summoned the four men.It was Oct. 5, the middle of a week off for the Seattle Seahawks, when Wilson huddled...
If you think you know Bills owner Terry Pegula, think again
HOUSTON — Terry Pegula says the word “ultimatum” like he can’t believe it’s coming out of his own mouth.
James: Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch have advantage at Talladega
 TALLADEGA, Ala. – Chase Elliott is in a horrible predicament. Kurt Busch is in a better situation, but hardly secure heading into...
NFL MVP tracker: Matt Ryan unanimous choice (for now), but new contender on radar
NFL MVP tracker: Matt Ryan unanimous choice (for now), but new contender on radar
From Week 1 through Week 17, USA TODAY Sports' NFL staff will be handicapping the race for league MVP.
Sporting old and new talent, Duke voted No. 1 in preseason coaches poll
The Duke men’s basketball team will start the season as the No. 1 team in the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll.
More Stories

You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of free premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on