Multiple fines didn’t get through to Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, but a suspension did.
Burfict is suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season for multiple violations of player-safety rules, including a hit to the head that gave Steelers receiver Antonio Brown a concussion. Burfict told Josina Anderson of ESPN he knows the hit on Brown was wrong and that his style of play will have to change.
“Like I told coach [Marvin Lewis], I wish I could take that play back because I probably would’ve hit him low,” Burfict said. “I don’t like hitting low, but I have to change because it’s getting flags because I hit him high or hit him in the helmet, and it’s so hard to determine where to hit the offender because they’re gonna tuck their body, and you have to pretty much tuck with them.”
At the same time, Burfict believes he’s being singled out by the officials.
“I play hard. Sometimes it gets me in trouble,” he said. “My style of play is aggressive, and [the game has] changed, and I have to change with it, and that play right there, I think if I wasn’t number 55, I wouldn’t have got flagged.”
Burfict has a long history of personal foul penalties and fines. We’ll find out starting in Week Four if Burfict can remain an effective player, while changing the way he plays.