Vontaze Blames Jeremy Hill for Bengals Playoff Loss

matthewpedroza
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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CBSSports.com’s John Breech wrote an article on the ESPN interview between Josina Anderson and Vontaze Burfict. Here is what he had to say:

"“For most people in Cincinnati, the Bengals’ wild-card playoff loss to the Steelers will go down as one of the most painful defeats in franchise history……A big part of the Steelers’ drive came with under 25 seconds left in the game when the Bengals were called for consecutive personal foul penalties, which gave the Steelers 30 free yards. One of those penalities was called on Vontaze Burfict, who was flagged for hitting Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the head.Although a lot of people blamed Burfict for the Bengals’ loss, Burfict apparently doesn’t feel the same way. During an interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the Bengals linebacker said that the loss wasn’t his fault.Burfict was asked directly if he blamed himself for the loss against the Steelers.“No, I don’t,” Burfict said.According to Burfict, most of the blame for the loss should fall on a teammate, who he didn’t name…”"

Just like that my attitude has changed about Vontaze Burfict. Let me be clear, I know that Vontaze very well could have/should have been the MVP of that playoff game against the Steelers, had it not been for a Jeremy Hill fumble. There are things that you keep in-house though, and you certainly don’t publicly shame a teammate who already feels terrible enough.

It was an immature move by Burfict, and it might be his most immature move, which is saying a lot. He didn’t “name” the teammate, but anyone who watched that game or has a brain knows it was directed at Hill. “There was only a minute left in the game,” Burfict said. “Coach always says, ‘Trust a teammate to pack your parachute,’ and I trusted my teammate. I don’t want to say any names, but I trusted my teammates to execute and finish the game.”

This is the last thing Bengals need going into OTAs. This is the kind of stuff that tears a locker room apart. Remember the T.O. saga? This is very similar to that time. We many not all agree, but it is clear he could have avoided a bad situation.

I’ve always backed Burfict because his play on the field is ferocious and he instills a fear into opponents. I could deal with a penalty here and there in return for 20 tackles all over the field per game. But this, this is too far. This is getting back to “same old Bengals” stuff. The coaches, team, and office need to address this and address it quick. I want to see Vontaze back on this team in 2016, but not if this is going to continue.

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