Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict‘s latest brush with the on-field law may or may not result in a suspension.
But his coach isn’t thrilled with the actions which led to Burfict’s first career ejection.
Burfict didn’t talk to reporters after the game, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he’s talked to Burfict about such outbursts.
“He has to understand. I’ve pointed it out in those situations,” Lewis said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s official website. “Sometimes what happens, you push back and it’s the official. You can’t do that. He knows better. We pay a price, we pay a price because he hurts us when it’s on the field that way, and then he’s not on the field, so both ways.”
The ejection for unsportsmanlike conduct came two plays after he was flagged for unnecessary roughness, after hitting running back DeMarco Murray out of bounds. Burfict’s contact there wasn’t egregious (by his standards), but his track record means he gets a closer look from officials.
“I think so,” wide receiver A.J. Green said. “I think he’s getting targeted a lot. On some of those plays I don’t think anybody else would make it. They wouldn’t get that call. I think he just has a target on his back. That’s the way he is. He’s an emotional guy. That’s the guy we want. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the world.”
While there’s an argument to be made that Burfict’s actions in a vacuum might not have warranted an ejection, he doesn’t live in a vacuum. He earned his reputation over the years, inviting the scrutiny with a long list of aggressive/dangerous/illegal plays. And since the Bengals have allowed it to continue, their complaints of unfair treatment ring hollow.