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Vontaze Burfict looking good in Bengals camp

Vontaze Burflict AP

In the months leading up to the draft, no player saw his stock fall further than former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who had once been viewed in some circles as a potential first-round draft pick, but who ended up not getting drafted at all. The Bengals may end up benefiting from Burfict’s slide.

After Cincinnati signed Burfict as an undrafted free agent, he proclaimed himself a steal, and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said there was no down side to signing him. The up side is that Burfict has the talent to be a solid NFL linebacker, and Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Burfict has done plenty to change the negative perceptions of him so far in training camp.

Burfict, who showed up to the Scouting Combine out of shape, has lost weight and looked good on the practice field, and he hasn’t been a problem child off the field, either.

All undrafted rookies have an uphill climb to make the 53-man roster, but Burfict has a good chance of doing it. And proving that he never should have been labeled a non-draftable kid.

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34 Responses to “Vontaze Burfict looking good in Bengals camp”
  1. willcoop62 says: Aug 4, 2012 12:53 PM

    The kid is a hitter

  2. bengalpower says: Aug 4, 2012 12:57 PM

    Vontaze was never an issue off the field to begin with. He just played undisciplined on the field and got too many penalties.
    Mark it down 31 teams are gonna wished they didn’t pass on this guy.

  3. tiggerblood says: Aug 4, 2012 12:58 PM

    Can’t wait for the AFC North nay sayers, it’s only a matter of time until he stabs someone, no that’s your team Baltimore. It’s only a matter of time until he rapes someone, no that’s your team Pittsburgh.

  4. walker615 says: Aug 4, 2012 12:59 PM

    “Upside” and “downside” are both one word.

  5. jets13 says: Aug 4, 2012 1:02 PM

    I like to root for guys like him. We so easily forget that these are just kids out of college, 21-22 years old. We expect every one of them to be perfect and go all out. Just about every one of them was always “the best” in pee-wee, high school, and college….and they need a little kick in the butt to get a check back to reality that in the “real world” someone is always willing to take your spot.

    If he can turn it around and become a long term starter in the NFL, going undrafted could be the best thing to ever happen to this kid.

  6. EJ says: Aug 4, 2012 1:09 PM

    I knew this kid would have been a steal. The Bengals knew what they were getting when they drafted Burfict…
    A troubled kid that let his emotions take over for his common sense. When scouts started talking about VB, he let it blow up his head. He started thinking he had locked up a pick in the first to second round and kind of let himself go. As for the “dirty player” reputation, It was BS. If you watch film on him throughout any of his games, he looks like any other LB out there with a ton of energy. He never should have been labeled dirty, because he is no more dirty than say Ray Lewis or Shawne Merriman, 2 successful players that were labeled in a similar way. I hope Vontaze breaks into Cincinnati’s 53 and proves everybody wrong.

  7. surferbum01 says: Aug 4, 2012 1:16 PM

    Hope the kid can salvage a career and realize the amazing opportunity he has before him and that only the rest of us can vicariously live through. Good on the Bengals if they got a steal out of the draft. Of course when Vontaze loses his temper and decides to eat the face off of Andy Dalton with a can of favre beans maybe they’ll have thought twice about bringing him on board.

  8. cubsin2049 says: Aug 4, 2012 1:17 PM

    Just as long as all the other players’ valuables are locked up and the Bengals keep his posse out of the locker room, all will be fine.
    For this week.

  9. indywilson40 says: Aug 4, 2012 1:21 PM

    He should be so proud of himself for not being a problem child off the field, 1 week into his pro career. Geez.

  10. hedleykow says: Aug 4, 2012 1:22 PM

    How can you miss with a name like Vontaze Burfict? It’s Freakonomics 101.

  11. londonbengal says: Aug 4, 2012 1:29 PM

    Long ways to go for Taze yet.

    If he can keep his nose clean, keep his focus, listen to his coaches, make the 53, and just play at a decent level, it would be a tremendous boost for the Bengals to finally take a chance on a ‘bad boy’ that finally pays-off.

    Particularly for Marvin Lewis, who took time out to give Burfict a chance.

  12. 5chan says: Aug 4, 2012 1:30 PM

    Of course he’s doing ok so far, you can’t get personal foul penalties in training camp.

  13. wryly1 says: Aug 4, 2012 1:31 PM

    It was never his lack of athletic potential that caused him to slide off ever team’s draft board – and it will be those other reasons why he did that he may not last in the NFL – unless the leopard has changed its spots.

  14. monosylab1k says: Aug 4, 2012 1:43 PM

    I have no idea how good this player is, because:

    1) Pre-season 1st-rounder/All-America/etc hype.

    2) Despite #1, constant accusations of being reckless, overly emotional, stupid, etc.

    3) Crap combine. Crap interviews (so we heard).

    4) Everyone who said he was good before (draft “experts”) reviews his 2011 tape and says he’s not a very good linebacker or player in general.

    5) Gets a lot of camp praise and will make an NFL roster this year.

    smh…idk

  15. danielsan101 says: Aug 4, 2012 2:01 PM

    Hope the kid does well- always good to see guys turn things around.

    Have to disagree with your last paragraph, though- making the roster isn’t proof that he should have been labeled un-draftable, because he’s making it as an undrafted free agent. There’s no guarantee that if he’d been drafted (especially high), he would have straightened out. That paragraph seems like an unnecessary jab at Mayock, who’s a pretty good analyst.

  16. brewdogg says: Aug 4, 2012 2:02 PM

    Do we really think that the Bengals are the place for this kid to turn his life around? Isn’t that like trying to get someone out of a “drugs and violence” culture and moving them to Compton?

  17. banvard316 says: Aug 4, 2012 2:29 PM

    Just wait until personal fouls can be called. The kid is totally undisciplined and is a loose cannon on the field.

  18. kuta82 says: Aug 4, 2012 2:31 PM

    Saw him in practice a couple of times..Very physical..knocked the crap out of one the RBs..Floored a linesman..Yeah he has been good so far..he looks like a ray lewis/patrick peterson the way he moves…Good Job..Marvin

  19. t8ertot says: Aug 4, 2012 2:39 PM

    Low risk high reward…cant wait to see what he can do on the field. I’m just hoping he stays disciplined on the field and doesn’t commit any personal fouls.

  20. freemantowilliams says: Aug 4, 2012 3:01 PM

    I’m still pissed my bucs didn’t take a chance on him. You’ll keep Aqib Talib but not take a chance on this guy at a position of need. I heard about the problems Vontaze had in college but its not like the guy was robbing people and fighting at clubs and bars.

  21. backindasaddle says: Aug 4, 2012 3:28 PM

    What this all says is that this kid has the IQ of a frog. He’s got high-round draft talent but shows up at the combine out of shape and scuttles the biggest chance in his life….. not too bright buddy.

  22. elohim7ks says: Aug 4, 2012 3:29 PM

    I’m a Chief and i prayed when he went undrafted, K.C. would pick him up. Only time will tell about his off and on the field antics. I hope the kid gets it together, for his sake. Burfict is in the position now to secure his future and live out a dream only a blessed handful will achieve. My question is, does he really get it, this kid has mad talent, but this is the NFL. I stand with the League and the coaches, it’s a privilege to play the game, is not a right. These kids today are make in an unfathomable amount of money, with that comes accountability. So I command, the statement Jerry Jones made about Dez Bryant. I love the game of football, and it’s high time we clean up the act of the players, and hold them accountable at all times, for their actions. Look at players like, Chris Carter, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Joe Montana, coach Belichick, Reggie White, the list goes on, and is a very long one. These players and others, get tell you the privilege it has been for them to play the game, the wealth, and all that comes with it, most of all their responsibility for being in that position.

  23. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Aug 4, 2012 3:47 PM

    I do hope he can move on from his past and create a nice career for himself, but I can’t help but laugh at all the thumbs ups and positive comments. Before the draft when all the negative stories were coming out, every single comment was about what a failure and a waste the kid was.

  24. stuartscottslefteye says: Aug 4, 2012 4:16 PM

    I thought it was a no-brainer to sign this kid – very low risk, potential high reward. Smart move by the Bengals – and I’m not a Bengals fan.

  25. paulsmith107 says: Aug 4, 2012 4:20 PM

    I wish that Dallas took him I love guys with his attitude on the field. That is what the cowboys lack as much as I like d ware he isn’t ray Lewis scary or James Harrison scary. But VB has that attitude

  26. randallflagg52 says: Aug 4, 2012 4:27 PM

    This dude runs his 40 in over 5 seconds. He will not last in this league with that speed.

    Actually I hope he make the team and earns a starting gig. He can’t cover Ray Rice out of the backfield or Ed Dickson at TE, so I say let him start!

  27. briang123 says: Aug 4, 2012 4:49 PM

    When Gronkowski is out cavorting, everyone says “boys will be boys” and laps it up. Burfict on the other hand, is called everything in the book. Gronkowski is white, and Burfict is black. Oh I wonder, whatever could possibly account for the difference in treatment?

  28. voyager6 says: Aug 4, 2012 5:29 PM

    What Marvin Lewis has looked for, and continually failed to obtain, is to find the Bengal’s equivalent of Ray Lewis, and Micheal Boulware (from his 2000 super bowl team). Marvin may have his Boulware in either Micharl Johnson and Carlos Dunlap, but he cannot seem to find a superior middle linebacker.

    For what it is worth, I believe Burfict can be that player, if and only if, his emotional state can be managed. I hope they show him Odel Thurman’s career to demonstrate what could happen to him.

    I think that Burfict will probably be a 2nd string player for a year or two and hopefully, when he matures, he will have the skills and ability to be the dominant MLB that Marvin has tried again and again to find for the Bengals.

    Final note: If you look at his last college year, you will see a human penalty machine who wouldn’t listen to his coaches. The year before, he was very, very good.

  29. sterlingrodgers says: Aug 4, 2012 5:43 PM

    “When Gronkowski is out cavorting, everyone says “boys will be boys” and laps it up. Burfict on the other hand, is called everything in the book. Gronkowski is white, and Burfict is black. Oh I wonder, whatever could possibly account for the difference in treatment?”

    I agree with your point, but not with your comparison. Gronkowski has just had one of the greatest seasons for a TE ever. Burfict hasn’t done anything in the NFL yet, and seemingly let himself go at a time when his financial future hung in the balance- so Burfict’s decision-making is fair game for questioning.

  30. rajbais says: Aug 4, 2012 6:33 PM

    This is all because of Mike Zimmer. Zimmer knows how to put out-of-place and cast-off players in position to succeed.

    Great story!

  31. descendency says: Aug 4, 2012 6:39 PM

    He’s going to be burned so many times in the NFL. The kid has terrible instincts. He can absolutely kill a guy with how hard he can hit, but he’s going to have a hard time dealing with NFL OLs while getting to the ball carriers and biting on play actions in the NFL.

  32. dtjano says: Aug 4, 2012 6:58 PM

    He’s young and cheap. If he can play he’ll make the team. Also because of his reputation from ASU if he makes one bonehead play on the field he may not get another chance.

  33. axespray says: Aug 4, 2012 6:58 PM

    maybe he wanted to be undrafted in the 1st place?

    Like he’s one of those, “I want to overcome the hard road …gerrh!” type guys that has to keep challenging himself… so he flops his combine/pro day on purpose, goes undrafted, then boom… idk.

  34. londonbengal says: Aug 4, 2012 8:37 PM

    @ ‘randallflag52′

    ================================

    C’mon man…..

    Ya boy #52 Ray Lewis is one of the best MLBs of all time…. does his 40 time really matter ? You should know there’s much more to MLB than speed. Ray Ray has lost a step in pure speed but he’s still the best there is.

    What were the 40 times of Mike Curtis, Ray Nitzke, Sam Huff, Alex Karras, Singletary and all those other great MLB’s ? Who cares, they were all great.

    Seems to me. MLB play is much more about attitude, instincts and ‘want to’, than speed.

    Only time will tell if Burfict makes it or not, but I guarentee there are more and more teams that now wish they had given him a shot, and I guarentee that if the Bengals try and ‘sneak’ him onto their practice squad, he’ll get snapped up by another team in a New York minute…….

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