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Burfict gets the cold shoulder

Vontaze+Burfict+USC+v+Arizona+State+b5BAoW2KRdql Getty Images

As the 2012 draft approaches, a player once expected to be a hot commodity has received an increasingly icy reception.

Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, whose propensity for losing his cool both on the field and off has replicated the view from the medal stand after an Olympic weightlifting event in the 1970s (work with me on this, folks), has had no private workouts and no team visits in advance of the draft, according to John Walters of The Daily.

Burfict’s media session at the Scouting Combine was less-than-impressive, and his team interviews in Indy were regarded as disastrous.  Add to that a pair of so-so Pro Days, and Burfict could slide all the way out of the draft.

Teams inclined to take a late-round flier on Burfict have plenty of reasons to look elsewhere.  His high-school coach, Matt Logan, said of Burfict, “I am a little bit worried.  I just don’t know if he’s listening to anybody right now.”  Arizona State defensive coordinator Craig Bray has said any praise for Burfict’s skills is “all hype.”

There are not-so-subtle signs of piling on, however.  For example, Walters regards as significant the notion that friends caution against calling or texting Burfict before 10:00 a.m., because he will still be asleep.  Anyone with a son or nephew in the range of 15 to 25 will readily describe such behavior as “normal.”

And former Arizona State teammate Brandon Magee raves about Burfict.  “He knows he is going to be a starter in the NFL,” Magee said, adding that Burfict plays with a lot of passion and despises losing. “Tez is going to prove everybody wrong.”

The bar will be low and the ceiling will be high, and there’s a chance that the negativity will give Burfict precisely the wake-up call that he needs in order to turn his career around.

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47 Responses to “Burfict gets the cold shoulder”
  1. Corey W. says: Apr 15, 2012 2:07 PM

    There was a time when I really wanted the Eagles to draft him, but after all this I doubt he’ll get drafted at all. But if he does it will be Raiders, Bengals, or maybe Ravens. Burfict just isnt an Andy Reid kind of guy, especially for a defensive pick. In the draft Reid normally goes after nice guys that are average football players, Trent Cole being the obvious exception.

  2. sb50 says: Apr 15, 2012 2:08 PM

    I remember back in feb. that everyone thought this kid was gonna be a beast in the NFL and an easy 1st round pick just because of a couple stupid youtube highlight videos, its so funny that the tables have turned now.

    I’ve said this from day one that this kid is an absolute headache and no team will touch this kid with a 10 feet pole

  3. RavenzGunnerz says: Apr 15, 2012 2:20 PM

    Ravens have a compensatory 5th rd pick. use it on this guy :).

  4. blacknole08 says: Apr 15, 2012 2:35 PM

    His journey shows that sometimes your attitude can override your talent. He went from a sure first rounder to possibly being undrafted in a span of a few months.

    Some team will take a flier on him with a third day pick.

  5. vontazemebro says: Apr 15, 2012 2:35 PM

    No one’s Burfict.

  6. Hank Koebler, IV says: Apr 15, 2012 2:37 PM

    I’m a male who falls into the 15 to 25 age range, and if I don’t have class or work, chances are I’ll be asleep before 10 a.m. too.

    But I also know if I have work or class, I’m going to be up and ready to go. And if I had to be getting in the best shape of my life in order to try to get a job that’ll land me millions of dollars, I’d be going to bed early and getting up early to work out. And I doubt I’m the only person in my age group who feels that way. So I would say, at this point in his life, that should be a red flag for Burfict.

  7. calbsure says: Apr 15, 2012 2:38 PM

    Hope my Vikes reach for this guy. Since it’s still in question what Coach Singletary does, perhaps this could be his task. To mentor the young man. Just saying.

  8. steelymcbeam6 says: Apr 15, 2012 2:39 PM

    Mr. Irrelevant 2012?

  9. cush2push says: Apr 15, 2012 2:47 PM

    this guy is in for a wakeup call sometime before 11 am teams that have the structure for him steelers ravens giants bills and all in need of linebacker depth

  10. ryanclark25 says: Apr 15, 2012 2:49 PM

    It’s said you need 3 years to properly evaluate an nfl draft. Lets go back to the 5th round of the 2009 nfl draft.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Joe Burnett (now with Edmonto Eskimos), Frank Summers (also on a team other than steelers.

    Baltimore Ravens: Jason Phillips (no longer with them), Davon Drew (3rd choice TE).

    New York Giants: Rhett Bomar (with Raiders)

    New England Patriots: George Bussey (with the Tampa Bay Storm of the AFL)

    Green Bay Packers: Quinn Johnson (Now with Titans), Jamon Meredith (Tampa Bay Bucs)

    49ers: Nate Davis (Kansas City Command of AFL), Scott McKillop (Buffalo Bills).

    My point being, 3 seasons on, despite being no talent evaluator I would make the argument that the 4 conference game contestants along with the top regular season 15-1 side and the steelers (sorry bias :P ) did not place a heavy dependence on the outcome of their 5th round draft selection on their success three years later. (the 4th round wasnt exactly filled with pro bowlers either btw)

    Applying this to Vontaze Burfict, if these 6 can do well without significant input from the 5th round, then why on earth would any of the 32 not take a chance on this guy. He’s made sure he’ll be available down there himself, he has immense talent only a fool would say otherwise, he can potentially be a monster, put faith in your disciplined coaching set up to get hold of this guy and you may get the next ray lewis (not exactly an angel himself coming out of college). I cannot believe the talk of him going undrafted. If he is passed on from the 5th round on, then 32 gms are not doing their job. He can always be cut if he acts up again without setting your franchise back 3 years. If he suceeds you will look like a genius and you won’t be sacked over him failing either.

  11. footballhistorian says: Apr 15, 2012 2:56 PM

    Looks like James Harrison had a kid out of wedlock…

  12. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 15, 2012 2:58 PM

    When assessing linebacker prospects, coaches say, “Well, the guy isn’t perfect, but at least he’s not Burfict.”.

  13. raiderstotheship says: Apr 15, 2012 3:00 PM

    I hope my raiders get him, he might be a bit of a mess but rite now he is being counseled by ray Lewis…. With his guidance and my boy Seymour, he might mature under the new regime.. Worth one of our few picks…

  14. londonbengal says: Apr 15, 2012 3:05 PM

    Zimmer will straighten this guy out, get his helmet on right and line him up.

    Bengals in the 5th.

  15. Soulman45 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:20 PM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS
    Have two 7th rounds picks
    with the first 7 round pick
    Janoris Jenkins
    with the second 7th round pick
    Vontaze Burfict
    All the outlaws can come to Detroit we will get them right.

  16. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 15, 2012 3:22 PM

    Draft candidates are now rated on a scale which runs from a Perfect 10 to a Burfict 0.

  17. stevenfbrackett says: Apr 15, 2012 3:25 PM

    Sounds like someone Detroit would be all over. He’d certainly fit in with what they have now.

  18. lbraiders says: Apr 15, 2012 3:28 PM

    Welcome to raider nation!!

  19. raqaiw says: Apr 15, 2012 3:29 PM

    Jacksonville takes him in Round 1.
    Before you call shenanigans remember the took Alualu at 10 and Gabbert at 10 too.

  20. rob0527 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:42 PM

    Could make a gm look like a genius with this late round pick.

  21. dg0122 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:44 PM

    Call me Psycho. Nobody call me Francis. Call me Francis, I’ll kill ya.
    Lighten up Francis

    You just made the list, buddy!

  22. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 15, 2012 3:51 PM

    @raqaiw….Hey, Resquack, Gabbert will be better than your team’s QB withing two seasons. No matter which team you follow, you brainless, screeching crow.

  23. ugk612 says: Apr 15, 2012 4:04 PM

    An undrafted free agent……hint Minnesota.

  24. raiderredleg says: Apr 15, 2012 4:04 PM

    He will fall, but not near as far as people think…Too much upside not to take a flier on him in the third or fourth round.

    Think what Bill Belicheck could do with someone of that talent.

    He has also been linked to the Raiders ALOT and with the new leadership on the team they might be able to turn him around.

  25. duckfootballrules says: Apr 15, 2012 4:20 PM

    If somebody, anybody gets through to this kid…. If maturity strikes after this kid gets picked up – there will be a ton of “we should have drafted him” being heard. This kid is a stud…period…flat out stud. I am an Oregon Duck fan and I can say there wasn’t a linebacker close to this guys dominance. As to his encounter with Fat Barkley, who cares. Barkley is a punk himself.

  26. kacapaco says: Apr 15, 2012 4:20 PM

    Why would a GM pick some1 to prove doubters wrong while he can pick a players to prove him right?

  27. onderin says: Apr 15, 2012 4:50 PM

    I, like some other people have said, think the Raiders should take a chance on him if he’s there in the 6th or 7th round. He’s always going to be a double-edged sword with his aggressiveness, but the guy is still capable of high-level play. Dennis Allen’s has a desire to be “multiple” with his defensive packages and Burfict could be a nice addition to the LB corp if/when they show a 3-4 front. That said, I don’t know if the Raiders really have the locker room presence yet to keep Burfict in line.

    Steelers would be the best choice in my opinion. They have a strong no nonsense coach and a good locker room with an emphasis on good linebacker play. He could really reach his potential there.

  28. jimmylions says: Apr 15, 2012 5:14 PM

    This kid will probably go sometime after the second half of round four. At that point people are willing to take a chance to get value. He’s going to have to go to someplace like Baltimore, where they don’t care about “character issues.”

    I think it’s important to note that Olympic weightlifting in the 70s was dominated by that giant Russian guy named Vasily Alekseyev. There were no medal stand controversies, other than everyone suspecting he was probably loaded up on steroids.

    I think you are referring to 1968 Olympic track medal stand, where Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos put their fist in the air, in a sign of solidarity with the black power movement. This gesture was considered too threatening to many white Americans who didn’t want to be reminded that Jim Crow laws were still being enforced in the old South (e.g. Loving vs. Virginia 1967).

    Smith and Carlos made a bold political statement about freedom (and the lack of it), and are in an entirely different stratosphere than an idiot LB who has no self-control.

  29. mianfr says: Apr 15, 2012 5:18 PM

    This guy’s had flags on him since forever.

    For one, he chose going to a piss-poor Arizona State team over a Pete Carroll-led USC team. Honestly, the only justification for doing that if you’re a top flight recruit who could start on day one is if you want to take the easy route. It’s not like he was a three star guy who’d have been buried on the depth chart at SC.

    On the field he’s just a hothead. He does what wants and can’t take direction.

    I’m not even almost a doctor, but I’m guessing he has some serious emotional disabilities. He’s got a lot of talent, definitely, but he basically wasted his college career so you’re going to have to train him how to walk in the NFL.

    Maybe he can develop into something down the road, but as is it looks like he’s squandered the opportunity of a lifetime. He’d have to go to a very specific situation to turn his life around, because clearly he’s not going to do it himself.

  30. vincentbojackson says: Apr 15, 2012 5:23 PM

    This kid will be gone by the end of third round. No chance he goes from possible first rounder to undrafted.

    Absolutely no chance.

  31. newguy925 says: Apr 15, 2012 5:26 PM

    Give a crazy person with aggression issues motivation and unleash him in blitz packages and on special teams. 5th rounder who makes an impact but burns out quick, ideal for a team with a lot of structure already in position to make a deep run.

  32. ramcountry says: Apr 15, 2012 5:41 PM

    As Walters put it, his friends will tell you never to call him before 10 a.m.

    Does this mean he’s sleeping that late every day? Don’t know.

    I do know that wasn’t my experience from 15-25. I had to be up at 6 am for school and 5 am for work. On the weekends I slept no later than 8 because there was always yard work that needed to be done.

    So I don’t know how “normal” it is.

  33. bullpuppy552 says: Apr 15, 2012 5:43 PM

    The guy should get the cold shoulder. He’s a total headcase who is about 3 scoops short of a load. He’ll get drafted by someone in the late rounds and then he’ll be out of the league in 3 years. Book it!!!

  34. totallydisgusted says: Apr 15, 2012 5:47 PM

    the best way to change his attitude is for no one to draft him or sign him as a free agent. Make him work for every Damn opportunity. If he doesn’t work hard he won’t get a chance.

  35. dans761 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:05 PM

    This guy has Oakland Raider written all over him!

  36. rajbais says: Apr 15, 2012 6:05 PM

    Undrafted free agent!!!

    He’s gonna have to work his butt off all the time in training camp!!!

  37. mullman7675 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:10 PM

    He will not be drafted, then turn into James Harrison 2.0.
    Except this time he will be wearing Silver and Black, and not black and dirty, soft yellow.

  38. bchapman2011 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:28 PM

    Why would anybody want this guy? I could understand if he was super talented with character issues but he stinks. Did you see his combine numbers? He couldnt bench and was slower than defensive linemen. His own coach said he sucks. That is how much asu hates him. I would draft jenoris jankins way before this guy

  39. jpb12 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:33 PM

    Will not make it in the NFL.

  40. bullpuppy552 says: Apr 15, 2012 6:38 PM

    His coaches even rip him because of his lack of work ethic and stupidity. He cost them over and over with boneheaded 15 yard penalties at the most inopportune times. The coaches got sick of his immature crap.

  41. ninersforlife15 says: Apr 15, 2012 7:26 PM

    I’ll tell you right now, if this guy can get into an environment that won’t put up with his crap and already has leadership on defense; like the 49ers, Ravens, Patriots, or other teams like that- then I truly believe that this guy could be one of the better linebackers in the game in a couple of years.

  42. theatomikpunk says: Apr 15, 2012 7:38 PM

    To be honest, I really hope Vontaze falls all the way out of the draft and all the way out of football. I’m tired of watching young men with poor character continue to succeed simply because they are gifted athletically. He needs a life lesson, not a career lesson. How long do you think it will be before Vontaze Burfict because the ass that he is right now, once he succeeds in the NFL and the checks start rolling in? Here’s what he is…PERIOD. Sorry Vontaze. Hopefully you will be the poster child for the rest of the world to see that you can lose it all in and it doesn’t always come back again someday. Just remember… YOU are responsible, no one else.
    Good luck… You will need it, because it doesn’t look like anybody’s would give you a shot.

  43. TheWizard says: Apr 15, 2012 10:22 PM

    calling or texting Burfict before 10:00 a.m., because he will still be asleep. Anyone with a son or nephew in the range of 15 to 25 will readily describe such behavior as “normal.”

    For losers, maybe.

    Not all of us grew up this way, or allowed our kids to do so.

  44. chawk12thman says: Apr 15, 2012 10:46 PM

    Amazing how players rise and fall from Grace in pre-draft hyperbole on the blogs. I only wish we could see the NFL Team Draft Boards as they were pre draft and compare them to what actions they took. I suspect that many of the ups and downs we all think are happening, really isn’t. It is what it is. If this player, or anyone else, was rated high on most boards, I suspect they don’t rise or fall just because of analysts on ESPN, NFL Network , CBS, NBC, ABC, Yahoo or here say they do.

  45. psychosteeler says: Apr 17, 2012 12:17 PM

    what the hell did this guy do?i remember him cuz of the weird last name and a couple highlights on espn,but why all this crap about him? even his own coach in college? why the hell did he play if the defensive coordinator thought he was all hype?makes no sense to me.

  46. raqaiw says: Apr 17, 2012 7:35 PM

    babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 15, 2012 3:51 PM

    @raqaiw….Hey, Resquack, Gabbert will be better than your team’s QB withing two seasons. No matter which team you follow, you brainless, screeching crow.
    _____________________________________

    If Gabbert is still the starter in Jacksonville in 2 seasons that’ll be a miracle. I’tll also be the year Mularkey gets fired and the new head coach takes a QB with the first overall pick in the 2014 draft.

  47. fatsmcnadds says: Apr 20, 2012 8:35 PM

    I hope the skins pick him in the 6th.London Fletcher would straighten this kid out.

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