Burfict says he’s “misunderstood”

AP

Until Cowboys owner Jerry Jones can find a way to finagle cameras into the player-team interview sessions, we’ll have to settle for the things a player says at the Scouting Combine when meeting with the media.

Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict had his chance to talk on Sunday.

He has been sliding on draft boards due to concerns regarding an ability to properly harness his fiery on-field demeanor.  Naturally, Burfict said that he’s “misunderstood.”

Part of the misunderstanding comes from a fight with a teammate.  Burfict was asked to explain what happened.

“It started in 7-on-7 and he ran a route and hit me, and we’re not supposed to hit each other in 7-on-7,” Burfict said.  “We had an argument, and we brought it into the locker room.  We started chattering about it, he started roughhousing me, he pushed me and my first instinct was to swing, and everyone thinks I’m the bad guy because my first instinct was to swing on the guy.”

Of course, the mere fact that his “first instinct was to swing on the guy” may have something to do with that perception.

Burfict claims he’s the best linebacker in the draft, while he concedes he played “average” in 2011.  So what makes him the best linebacker?

“My instincts, my nose for the ball, my study habits in the film room. I am a leader on and off the field,
and my aggression to win and my passion for the game,” Burfict said.

Burfict’s session broke from his trend of not talking to the media, explaining that he has stopped doing interviews because “people were putting words in my mouth and putting me as a bad guy.”

But his actions, not his words, have fueled that reputation.  Burfict has been flagged for numerous personal fouls, even though he said on Sunday that he believes he’s a “marked man” in the eyes of the officials.

He’s now a marked man in the eyes of the scouts.  And since the interview sessions with teams aren’t televised (yet), we’ll have to wait a couple months to find out whether he has managed to change anyone’s mind about him.

41 responses to “Burfict says he’s “misunderstood”

  1. Every team that passes on this guy is going to regret it. He is an athletic freak of nature who is actually strong enough to run through offensive guards. Made a ton of splash plays too. He had a bad year, but that was just him not being himself because he was trying to cut into his personal foul count.

    All that being said, he should have returned to school to prove this.

  2. I spend the better part of most Saturday afternoons explaining to one child why it is not okay to hit another child.

    It doesn’t matter what your brother did to you, you can’t hit him.

    My kids are 5 and 7.

  3. Pair this hammer of a rookie linebacker with LaRon Landry and bring them both to Philly…where we could use a few more guys willing to smash somebody in the mouth.

    Again, why did we send B-Dawk packing?

  4. EAGLES
    Trade Asante for a 3rd and a whatever else you can get. Then draft Devon Still at #15, use a 2nd and a 3rd to move back into the end of the 1st round and pick up Burfict, or Zach Brown (depending on who’s available). Maybe a CB like Denard or Gilmore in the 2nd, Keenan Robinson in the 3rd, hope that Michael Egnew falls to the 4th or trade up into the 3rd to get him so we can run a 2 TE scheme more, and for a redzone target. and whatever else from there..

  5. He absolutely is a “marked man” in the eyes of officials. I’m not a fan of ASU or even Burfict but I watched three or four of his games this season and anytime he walked the tightrope on a late hit or verbally responded to an opponent it immediately drew a flag. I think that may have been why he had a down season after making such a big initial splash.

  6. As an Arizona State alum, I saw every game he played. He had ups and downs and no doubt he became a target of the refs. He’s going in second round. You can’t take the risk with him int he first. Your first rounder has to be a guy that you fully believe can play from jump street, without issues. The second round is where you take a shot on this type of high reward talent. I am hoping my team, the Eagles, take him.

  7. “With the 36th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State.”

    We’ve been in search of adequate linebacker play since the dismissal of Mr Derrick Brooks and when your defense was gashed the way we were last yr and Burfict falls into your lap in the 2nd round, you HAVE to take him.

  8. It appears as though he believes that others are responsible for these incidents, such as the refs, the press, and a teammate. Using words like “misunderstanding” and “instinct” in his interview shows his perceived lack of responsibility.

  9. Panthers need a guy on DEF, but he needs to control his anger, Beason, Davis and Anderson will help him in this department.

    Panthers draft him if he falls in the second round, we need a run stuffing LBer that can help our poor run DEF, Clayborne or Still in the 1st, then Burfict in the second.

  10. ~Hate~ says: Feb 26, 2012 6:13 PM

    “With the 36th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State.”

    We’ve been in search of adequate linebacker play since the dismissal of Mr Derrick Brooks and when your defense was gashed the way we were last yr and Burfict falls into your lap in the 2nd round, you HAVE to take him.

    ———————————–

    That’s a great idea.

    He and Aqib can play tetherball only instead of a tetherball they can swing their helmets at each others’ faces..

  11. Everybody knows Pac-10 officiating is laughably bad (nice work Pereira). Burfict was definitely targeted. He’ll be fine in the NFL.

  12. flaccounibrow says:
    Feb 26, 2012 8:14 PM

    Typical raven pick. The media will give them an A+ for their draft, and he’ll never see the field. Sergio Kindle anybody?

    Different circumstances (one in which you should know by now so I’ll stop there).

    Don’t want him in Philly. Locker room isn’t strong enough to handle this guy’s temper. Hightower with the 15th pick please (I’ll puke if they pick a DT).

  13. When did being over aggressive become a problem for LBs.
    Im not saying he will have the same kind of success as Ray Lewis….but werent the same things said about Ray in college?

    Its not like Burfect has off the field issues with being aggressive.

  14. Good player, but a high-risk, high-reward player. Could blow up then burn out as Lavar Arrington did…could be a player for a long time like Mo Lewis…could be an arrest away from a one and done.

    I get the feeling again, he drops and the Bengals take him. Seriously.

    Marvin Lewis had Ray Lewis, and if any dude remotely reminds him of that attitude, its Burfict.

    But, he appears to be very opportunistic, emotional and has a sense of entitlement – he’ll need tough love, and a veteran around to make sure he’s lined up in the right places. He’s a “play when i want to type”.

    There was an incident, where he wouldnt come out of a game, and another where he wouldnt go back on to the field. May not be worth the headache.

  15. Burfict would be perfect in the 4th round.I hope the Eagles draft Kuechly at the 15 spot in the 1st round.He would be great and he has no bagage.

  16. As an ASU alum and booster who watched every game he ever played in ( mostly live), I’m hoping he doesn’t find his way to my favorite NFL team. He’s not a leader at all, a lockerroom cancer, made NO splash plays, a horrible work ethic, fat, slow, lazy, and ASU fans are, by and large, glad to see him go. He fell from preseason all-american to honorable mention pac-12. He regressed every year after a strong frosh seasons. Please take your talents anywhere but the Burgh.

  17. This is just a terrible attitude. He think’s he’s doing a good thing by explaining people’s perception of him, but he’s really just blaming everything on everyone else. NFL teams want a guy who’s going to be a man and stand by his actions. This guy is reckless and plays the blame game. He would’ve been much better off saying that he is extremely competitive and that sometimes he needs to learn to control it. By doing that he takes responsibility for his own actions, and shows off his competitiveness which teams will love. unfortunately he’s reckless in the interview room too.

  18. I’d like for my Packers to get a high motor, high intensity player at the other OLB slot across from CMIII or on the D line, but I don’t think he’d fit well in the locker room.

  19. Would love the Bills to take him to play SAM in their 4-3. If he is there in the 2nd pull the trigger.

    Side not 2nd round has a lot of value in this draft.

  20. Every player thinks he is the best of the best of the best! With honors! Sir!

    What ever happened to humility?

    Do these guys really think that spouting off at the mouth makes them somehow look better?

    Clueless!

  21. I miss the days when you wanted your linebackers to be a bit misbalanced, because defense is best played nasty. Now those guys are too much of a liability with the refs cracking down. This guy sounds like lavar arrington. Anothher physical stud who probly won’t have that great a career because he’s limited upstairs.

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