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Marvin Lewis: No down side to signing Vontaze Burfict

Vontaze Burfict AP

Coming out of Arizona State, Vontaze Burfict was viewed as a risky proposition, and he ultimately went undrafted. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis says he was happy to sign Burfict as an undrafted free agent because there’s no risk at all to that.

“I don’t know what down side there is. I think he’s a young man who has fallen from graces everywhere,” Lewis said on NFL Network’s Total Access. “Through the draft process, obviously at Arizona State, he didn’t play very well as a senior player. But when you watch some of the things he did on tape, he has the hips, the snap, he has the ability to play under and through blocks, and that’s what you’re looking for in a linebacker. We’re providing the opportunity for Vontaze. He’ll continue to get better. He’s changing his body physically from the body that played in the ’11 season at Arizona State. He’s a much lighter player now again, and I’m pleased with what he did last week in our rookie camp. I want to see him continue to get better and it’ll be fun next week when we get the full team out here in OTAs.”

Lewis didn’t seem to appreciate a question about whether the Bengals overlook character issues with players, saying that there’s nothing wrong with giving a shot to a young man who will try to prove himself worthy of making the team.

“We didn’t pick him,” Lewis said. “We signed him after the draft as a college free agent. There’s been a lot of players picked by a lot of teams that have had a very checkered past. This is all about Vontaze’s future and not what he’s done in the past.”

Burfict still has an uphill climb to make the Bengals’ roster, just as every undrafted free agent does. But Lewis is excited to give him the chance.

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44 Responses to “Marvin Lewis: No down side to signing Vontaze Burfict”
  1. jjbadd says: May 16, 2012 10:15 AM

    Good for Lewis..

  2. dionoil says: May 16, 2012 10:22 AM

    He’s right. Worst case scenario, they cut him and lose nothing.

  3. talkintrashallday says: May 16, 2012 10:24 AM

    If Lendale White played linebacker…

  4. mvp43 says: May 16, 2012 10:25 AM

    Lewis has never overlooked character issues……

  5. purnellmeagrejr says: May 16, 2012 10:27 AM

    he gives Plaxico Burrress some competition for best name in the NFL, if nothing else.

  6. rufustfireflyjr says: May 16, 2012 10:29 AM

    dionoil:

    No, the worst case scenario is that he does well initially, makes the team and stays out of trouble long enough to gain an important role (starter or rotation player) THEN messes up and gets himself suspended and/or arrested after the team has come to rely on him. That’s the downside of this move.

  7. realnflmaster says: May 16, 2012 10:32 AM

    waste of a roster spot.

  8. krimou80 says: May 16, 2012 10:33 AM

    Why not….i am 100% with what coach lewis is stating, everybody deserves a second chance!!!

  9. lolb23 says: May 16, 2012 10:38 AM

    Every single person in here wanted their team to take this guy in the 7th round, so shut up and stop acting like you didn’t.

  10. morgan420 says: May 16, 2012 10:43 AM

    Coach lewis, in my opinion you are the best coach in bengals history and I give all of my hope that after this season your last year of your contract that you stay within the bengals organization weather its as head coach or head of football operations. I entrust your decision making and everything you do. Keep up the excellent work as I know you will. WHO-DEY!!!

  11. wildbillesq says: May 16, 2012 10:44 AM

    Glad to see someone give this young man a chance. He has tremendous potential if he can stay out of trouble. He’s still a kid, a little mentoring could go a long way.

  12. bigredscouting says: May 16, 2012 10:45 AM

    He’s absolutely right. Vontaze Burfict has 1st round physical ability. Yes, his combine numbers were awful but watch the tape, he’s a physical freak. Strong, physical, agile, quick and fast. He needs to learn to play within a system, mature and control his emotions, but his talent is undeniable. Even if he can never get it right in his head, he’ll be the most athletic practice squad player in the NFL.

  13. peytonwantsaflag says: May 16, 2012 10:49 AM

    Hey rufust, no i think the worse thing would be for all that to happen then he comes back one day before the game and brings an uzi and ends everybody. That would be worse i think.

    Whatamaroon.

  14. db3300 says: May 16, 2012 10:54 AM

    “Every single person in here wanted their team to take this guy in the 7th round, so shut up and stop acting like you didn’t.”

    Not me so everything you say from now on should be mocked.

  15. rayvens11 says: May 16, 2012 10:58 AM

    @bigredscouting

    HEs no physical freak! hes slow, not strong or agile AT ALL because hes not dedicated to the weight room. Has no instincts, and has a bad attitude. I agree that he has potential but he works for the highlight real hit everytime and he ends up making more bad plays than good. He has a LONG way to go but i agree that it was a decent signing based on the fact that theres no risk and he has some upside because hes a viscous player.

  16. pooflingingmonkey says: May 16, 2012 10:59 AM

    Burfict is the kind of player you hate… until your team signs him as a no-risk, free agent, at which point you love the guy.

  17. dublindemonszfl says: May 16, 2012 10:59 AM

    Hope it turns out alright for both parties even though everyone hates the packers.

  18. billhicks666 says: May 16, 2012 11:04 AM

    I have looked at video of this guy, and there’s nothing special about him. He makes a few highlight reel hits and people start exaggerating about this guy’s game. Mediocre player + terrible attitude = undrafted free agent.

  19. pskotte says: May 16, 2012 11:06 AM

    Before the draft Lewis had occasion to sit down and talk privately with Burfict for over two hours. That’s quite remarkable for an NFL head coach. Whatever they talked about nobody knows except for them, but it must have convinced ML that the kid was worth a shot. Burfict has been very grateful for this opportunity and very respectful of Lewis, so I hope he makes the most of it.

  20. rexryanschoolofpodiatry says: May 16, 2012 11:09 AM

    Fact: The Bungles rely on Mel Kiper and Todd Mcshays player rankings for their drafts.

  21. JSpicoli says: May 16, 2012 11:16 AM

    How could he be a bad pick, He’s Burfict.

  22. 1buckeye76 says: May 16, 2012 11:22 AM

    @rufustfireflyjr – he’s never been arrested.

    this is a great thing for the Bengals. Burfict is being analyzed and discussed to an extent that people are acting like he’s a 1st round pick. I’m very cautiously optimistic about Cincy this year.

  23. naanunaanu says: May 16, 2012 11:23 AM

    how does Marvin still have a job??

  24. rockthered1286 says: May 16, 2012 11:40 AM

    pskotte says:
    Before the draft Lewis had occasion to sit down and talk privately with Burfict for over two hours. That’s quite remarkable for an NFL head coach. Whatever they talked about nobody knows except for them, but it must have convinced ML that the kid was worth a shot.
    ___________________________
    Really? So Marvin told him “We like what you bring to the table kid. If nobody takes you through 7 rounds, THEN we want you on our team. But don’t value you enough to actually draft you…” Wasting 2 hours on a guy who wasn’t worth a draft pick. Good call.

  25. nopepper123 says: May 16, 2012 11:51 AM

    If an NFL team thought that I had an .000001 percent chance that I could help the team, they would sign me until cut time…….how can this be bad when he’s got like a 3% chance?

  26. oldschoolomen says: May 16, 2012 11:52 AM

    realnflmaster says:
    May 16, 2012 10:32 AM
    waste of a roster spot.
    ———————-
    Oh yeah? The 90 man offseason roster that doesn’t even have 90 guys on it at this point?

  27. cmdrsmooth says: May 16, 2012 11:56 AM

    Do it once, shame on you,. Get me twice, shame on me(Bungles never learn=Never Win)

  28. friendlylittletrees says: May 16, 2012 12:27 PM

    JaMarcus Russell 2.0… only dumber.

  29. eaglesw00t says: May 16, 2012 12:31 PM

    lolb23 says:
    May 16, 2012 10:38 AM
    Every single person in here wanted their team to take this guy in the 7th round, so shut up and stop acting like you didn’t.

    ———————————

    Absolutely. I probably would have even used a late 6th on him just because I would want to beat out someone who may have been willing to use a 7th.

    Honestly, how many 6th and 7th rounders make teams each year. The Eagles LB situation is shaky. I really do think Burfict is going to make the Bengals squad.

    Funny how far his stock has dropped in the last 3 months.

  30. RemDawg says: May 16, 2012 12:36 PM

    In a division where you are facing Ray Rice, Trent Richardson, and the stable of Steelers RB’s – You need all the help you can get.

  31. blacknyellablacknyella says: May 16, 2012 12:38 PM

    it’s fascinating the amount of stories that are dedicated to an undrafted free agent who fell out of the first round of the draft because he has a horrible attitude and flat can’t play.

    literally, every single week there is an article here on burfict.

    i watched every snap he ever played in college (most of them live). the kid can’t play.

    and, oh, by the way . . . might want to tell marv that burfict didn’t “play very well as a senior player” because he didn’t stick around for his senior year. he left as a junior. yes, he declared EARLY after having a BAD JUNIOR YEAR.

    staggers the mind. “i sucked my junior year in college so i think i’m ready for the nfl!”

    what’s the downside? ANOTHER locker room cancer for the cincinnati bengals. has any team imploded as much from bad ‘characters’ than the bungles? so what do they do? they run out and sign T.O., bring in pacman, draft burfict . . . all you can do is laugh.

    hahahahahahahaa . . .

  32. rufustfireflyjr says: May 16, 2012 12:48 PM

    @ peytonwantsabrain:

    Actually, I think the worst thing would be for anyone to take what you post seriously.

    @ 1buckeye76:

    I’m not saying that the dude is a hardcore criminal, but, last I checked, assault and marijuana use (both of which he has done) were still illegal.

  33. mymanmccoy says: May 16, 2012 12:54 PM

    “There’s no downside to vontaze burfict” = Famous last words!

  34. johnnyuwho says: May 16, 2012 12:55 PM

    Remdawg:

    When have we ever needed any help playing the turds? We beat your butts twice every year. Go back to the factory of sadness and drink like every other person in cleavageland!

  35. truths4all says: May 16, 2012 1:20 PM

    As long as Burfict remains with the Bengals, the 7-11s and Circle Ks will remain safe. Once they cut him, all bets are off as every convenience store in Burfict’s immediate area will be in danger of being robbed for munchies and tokin’ money.

  36. theravishingrachelnichols says: May 16, 2012 1:38 PM

    rufustfireflyjr says:
    May 16, 2012 10:29 AM
    dionoil:

    No, the worst case scenario is that he does well initially, makes the team and stays out of trouble long enough to gain an important role (starter or rotation player) THEN messes up and gets himself suspended and/or arrested after the team has come to rely on him. That’s the downside of this move.
    ————————————————————————————————

    Seriously Brah? You could say that about any player… Although you’d think Cincy would have second thoughts after Odell Thurman.

    Still, any player can get into trouble at anytime.

  37. chicagosundevil says: May 16, 2012 1:44 PM

    As a Sundevil that was both excited and frustrated with Vontaze’s inconsistent play, I’d love to see him rebound and make an impact. History tells me that it’s a long shot to see him totally turn around an attitude that needs focus and discipline. He sticks for 3-years before being cut loose.

  38. 1buckeye76 says: May 16, 2012 1:49 PM

    @rufustfireflyjr says: @ 1buckeye76:

    I’m not saying that the dude is a hardcore criminal, but, last I checked, assault and marijuana use (both of which he has done) were still illegal.
    ——–

    point taken, but it doesn’t mean it’s a given that he will continue that behavior. I would guess that if everyone in the league was tested today, without notice, more than half would test positive for THC. Bernard Scott, as an example, had a very checkered past, and has been no trouble at all since being on the team.

  39. t8ertot says: May 16, 2012 2:40 PM

    I love how everyone on here has a crystal ball. I’m not predicting him to be the next Ray Lewis. But he does have potential. Maybe he just needs the right coach.

    WHO DEY

  40. numberonesteelerhater says: May 16, 2012 3:04 PM

    Marvin Lewis’ famous last words, “It is what it is.”

  41. granadafan says: May 16, 2012 4:50 PM

    Society and the criminal courts system are better off if Vontaze is playing rather than assaulting and robbing people. Vontaze is one angry dude who has no self control. With no money, that’s a bad combination for a civilized society’s sake.

  42. voyager6 says: May 16, 2012 8:20 PM

    Lets look at the roster situation. If the Bengals put Burfict on the practice squad, some team will immediately pluck him. So he either makes the 53 man roster or he gets cut. The fact they are working him on special teams leads me to think they already have him penciled in on the 53. Dan Skuda should be looking over his shoulder as Burfict may get his spot.

  43. mborz says: May 16, 2012 8:56 PM

    I still don’t understand what the infatuation this team and their fanbase has with these “talent projects”.

    No downside? You people can simply not be serious.

    Consider this: In a game against Stanford, Burfict was called for grabbing the facemask of Doug Baldwin, and—after complaining to the referee—charged with a personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct that gave Stanford a first down at the ASU 7. Two plays later, Stanford scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown.

    This guy is a personal foul machine. Even if he doesn’t repeat what he did above, what if he draws a personal foul after the Bengals defense stops a drive in a crucial situation? It’s entirely likely with this guy.

    The Bengals have their QB of their future, a great receiver, other young talent (Atkins), and they got great picks for the Palmer trade.

    They don’t need more “talent.” They don’t need to be taking these kinds of chances.

    And from all appearances here, the Bengals fans seem to wholeheartedly support it.

    I don’t get it.

  44. vex24 says: May 18, 2012 7:41 AM

    Calm Down, Ya’ll!
    This is just Training Camp. VB adds competition to the LB mix. Training Camp & OTAs are the perfect places to ‘test’ his ability to handle stressful situations. There are plenty of mini-fights in camp. In fact many coaches and senior players script fights in order to see how newbies react. I think that VB was an excellent, and lucky, signing for the Bengals. I also realize that, “Haters gonna Hate”.

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