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Vontaze Burfict now a starter for the Bengals

Vontaze Burfict AP

It’s only the second game of his career, but it’s starting to look like the Bengals were right and the rest of the league was wrong about Vontaze Burfict.

The Bengals will have Burfict as their starting weakside linebacker for today’s game against the Browns, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Burfict didn’t get any snaps on defense in Week One, but he played 19 plays on special teams, and after starting weakside linebacker Thomas Howard went down with a torn ACL in practice this week, the Bengals decided the Burfict would be the next man up.

Burfict’s elevation to the starting lineup came sooner than the Bengals would have liked, but it’s a testament to how hard he has worked since the Bengals signed him as an undrafted free agent: From all indications he has lost weight, gotten into better shape and quickly learned the Bengals’ defense.

At the start of the 2011 college football season, Burfict was widely viewed as one of the top linebackers in the country. But he had a bad year on the field and gained a reputation as a trouble maker off the field, and he fell all the way out of the draft. Now he has completed an impressive turnaround, all the way into an NFL starting lineup.

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26 Responses to “Vontaze Burfict now a starter for the Bengals”
  1. sundevils33 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:23 AM

    As a fellow Sun Devil, this is no surprise. Talent has always been there, just needed to come down to earth. Steal for the Bengals

  2. bunjy96 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:25 AM

    Hopefully the Bengals sent him to anger mgmt classes.

  3. jswheeler says: Sep 16, 2012 11:26 AM

    Yes. But we are talking about the Bungles so we’ll wait and see if he’s still leading an impressive life in a year. Or if he’s on the Arrest blotter.

  4. thraiderskin says: Sep 16, 2012 11:29 AM

    No body was wrong about Burfict… he didn’t get drafted for what he “didn’t do.” He had a series of important interviews that he refused to show his best (or anything) at. The Bengals got lucky, I’m sure other teams thought about bring him in for the offseason, but the Bengals fot there first. I’m glad the young-man figured it out, but he deserved to go undrafted and he deserved to be thought of as, mostly, not worth the time.

  5. v2the4 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:29 AM

    great story…dont ruin your chance young man…be an inspiration to millions who need a second chance to make a great impression…..good luck the rest of the way..

  6. biggestredmiami says: Sep 16, 2012 11:30 AM

    Steal of the draft, or lack thereof.

  7. Chris Henry's Wild Ride says: Sep 16, 2012 11:32 AM

    God I knew this kid was gonna be good. So pissed the Browns didnt take a shot on him with their linebackers being such a weak spot on a weak team.

  8. jets13 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:33 AM

    I hope it works otu for him.

    Mostly all of us get 2nd chances in life, it’s just about those who take advantage of them.

  9. sclobernocker47 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:35 AM

    I loved Burfict at ASU, but at Will? He’s way too slow for that position. I could see him at Mike, or MAYBE SAM, but hes gonna get burnt at will.

  10. chesslungo says: Sep 16, 2012 11:35 AM

    Just because hes starting doesnt mean hes good

  11. crisper57 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:36 AM

    Over/under on stupid penalties by Burfict today is 3.

  12. realnflmaster says: Sep 16, 2012 11:37 AM

    Over under. Two 15 yard penalties in his first game.

  13. 303bengalguy says: Sep 16, 2012 11:39 AM

    I’m a Bengal fan, but lets wait to see how he performs in a game before we say “The Bengals were right and everyone else was wrong”.

    Who Dey! Kick Cleveland’s butt today Teezy!

  14. bovice23 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:45 AM

    Hope the kid finally has his head on straight

  15. voyager6 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:50 AM

    Remember, Burfict’s natural position is MLB, so putting him at WLB is not to his strength. If he has troubles performing today, that will be one of the reasons. Bengals were unwilling to move Malauga from the middle.

  16. johndank says: Sep 16, 2012 11:53 AM

    straight outta corona centennial,inland empire we in here!

  17. christopher525 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:55 AM

    Hoping he doesn’t play well, honestly. I thought that they could have had one bad ass LB corp in Carolina if they’d have taken a chance on him late in the draft. If he plays well, especially if he plays great, it’s going to annoy the piss out of me. Having Davis, Beason, Keuchly, and Burfict would have been scary as hell.

  18. raiderufan says: Sep 16, 2012 11:57 AM

    I’m not sure how we’ve already decided he turned everything around? Reports he’s worked hard and been upstanding are great but this is hardly what the Bengals want.

  19. crazybeardedjack says: Sep 16, 2012 12:05 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong (and it’s happened a time or two), but wasn’t Burfict’s draft stock derailed by Mike Mayock’s one-man campaign against him? Seemed like Mayock was the one ripping Burfict every chance he got.

    When you’re fired by the VIKINGS as a pre-season color commentator, I think it’s time to re-think someone’s employment.

  20. 1buckeye76 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:05 PM

    @ crisper57 & realnflmaster – i’ll take the under on both bets.

  21. matthewcarlson1 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:17 PM

    I called this… Look back at past articles about him if you dont believe. Called it before the draft. NFL teams: im free for hire for 1 mil a year.

  22. geraldthecat says: Sep 16, 2012 12:22 PM

    Browns offense makes good line backers.

  23. jackdaniels1 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:25 PM

    Vontaze? LOL

  24. bungalsfan101 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:51 PM

    lets go bengals!!!!!

  25. jbcommonsense says: Sep 16, 2012 1:15 PM

    Good job, VB! Way to elevate your discipline and employ your talents so that you have regained this once in a lifetime opportunity!

  26. texansfan81 says: Sep 16, 2012 1:59 PM

    I hope he does well

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