After an NFL career looked bleak for Vontaze Burfict coming out of Arizona State, the troubled All-American linebacker found a home with the Cincinnati Bengals, and now it looks as though his promising football career is right back on track.
Going undrafted may have just been the wakeup call Burfict needed, as he now understands that in the NFL, nothing is given to you, no matter how talented you may be, and you have to earn your keep in this league.
His newest teammate learned that the hard way as well. After a standout career at Kent State, James Harrison never heard his name called on draft day, and after years of bouncing around different teams, Harrison finally found a home in Pittsburgh, where he would go on to become a 4x All-Pro and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
Needless to say, the aging Harrison has a lot of wisdom and knowledge to pass onto Burfict, and the young pup is listening up:
No doubt the cameras are going to capture the position of Harrison’s locker, at the end of a row and next to Vontaze Burfict, off a sensational rookie season in which he was one of the NFL leaders with 174 tackles despite just 14 starts at WILL. Like Harrison, Burfict was undrafted. Like Harrison, the passionate, emotional Burfict was supposedly difficult to coach. But, like Harrison, Burfict has been a model pro possessing toughness and desire to go along with talent. Harrison is 12 years older than Burfict and has seen so much more. The last week of workouts, Burfict talked about how he’s already taking notes from his locker neighbor.