You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myDaytonDailyNews.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of 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

X

Welcome to myDaytonDailyNews.com

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 myDaytonDailyNews.com.

Bengals defend Burfict in wake of $75,000 fine


Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis doubled down on his defense of Vontaze Burfict on Wednesday, saying the linebacker did nothing wrong on the play where Burfict appears to stomp on the leg of Patriots running back LaGarrette Blount late in Sunday’s 35-17 loss at New England.

“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

WSU baseball loaded with confidence heading into HL tournament
WSU baseball loaded with confidence heading into HL tournament

The Wright State baseball team may not be the top seed for this week’s Horizon League tournament, but the Raiders certainly feel as though they’re the team to beat. Not only has WSU won the last two championships, the Raiders have reached the championship game in seven of the last eight seasons. “We’re the only team here that&rsquo...
Football recruiting: Xenia wide receiver Meechi Harris narrows his list to 9 schools
Football recruiting: Xenia wide receiver Meechi Harris narrows his list to 9 schools

Xenia receiver Meechi Harris has narrowed his list of potential college football destinations. The three-star prospect is down to nine as summer camp season approaches: West Virginia, Purdue, Michigan State, Iowa State, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Kentucky, Minnesota and Toledo. Harris was fifth in the GWOC in receiving yards with 663 last season. He scored...
WATCH: Kyle Schwarber blasts career-long home run out of Wrigley Field
WATCH: Kyle Schwarber blasts career-long home run out of Wrigley Field

Chicago Clubs slugger and Middletown native Kyle Schwarber has hit some memorable home runs in his brief Major League Baseball career. He added another one Tuesday night in the first inning of a 4-1 win over the Giants. Schwarber obliterated a pitch from former Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto that traveled 470 feet — the longest HR of Schwarber&rsquo...
Sports Today: All you need to know about the Reds, Marvin Lewis down on NFL celebrations, Cavs up 3-1
Sports Today: All you need to know about the Reds, Marvin Lewis down on NFL celebrations, Cavs up 3-1

If you haven’t been watching the Cincinnati Reds much this season, they crammed pretty much everything about who they are into the last two days against the Cleveland Indians.  The home team went 1-1 while putting 12 runs on the board.  This team can hit, but the pitching staff has some glaring limitations.  Last night, talented...
Gruden on Redskins' revamped defense: 'I think we have to be good now'
Gruden on Redskins' revamped defense: 'I think we have to be good now'

The Washington Redskins began their offseason practices on Tuesday, and their roster will look drastically different. They parted ways with some familiar faces during free agency, including wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon and defensive linemen Chris Baker and Ricky Jean Francois, but the new-look Redskins may be more talented, and on...
More Stories