Bengals want to keep Burfict in line

Bengals want to keep Burfict in line
August 7, 2013, 11:15 pm
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One of the reasons linebacker Vontaze Burfict went undrafted out of Arizona State was that he had developed a reputation for getting out of control on the field and drawing too many penalties. But Burfict kept himself in check during his rookie season with the Bengals, and now a lot of people would say Cincinnati got a steal by signing him as a free agent.

However, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis delivered a reminder to Burfict this week that he must not let his dark side resurface.

During a Monday practice with the Falcons, Burfict got into a scuffle with Steven Jackson, a multiple Pro Bowl pick who has been one of the league’s top running backs over several seasons. Burfict jumped on Jackson’s back during the confrontation.

"I told him if he did that to me what he did to Steven, I would have hit him with a two by four," Lewis said, as reported by the team website. "Steven should have gotten him in his sleep last night."

Burfict obviously felt justified because of the way Jackson runs.

"He runs with his head down 75 percent of the time. He'll get fined a couple of times," Burfict said.

The linebacker was referencing a new rules interpretation for this season that will prohibit a ball carrier from striking a would-be tackler with the crown of the helmet outside the tackle box and 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

"My arm wrapped around his body, whatever, and he just kept running with his head down and at the end he tried to give me a shove and he called me a bleep," Burfict said.

Lewis probably doesn’t care what opponents call Burfict as long as officials aren’t calling him for personal fouls.