The Burfict Answer
Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the start of this season for losing his mind and nearly decapitating AB last year. Watching the Bengals without him on the field is like eating Italian food without garlic. There is no flavoring and no spice on this defense without Burfict unleashing his demons on opposing players. As a player, he provides incredible run support and puts fear in the minds of opposing players. At the same time, other players on the defense seem to ramp up their emotion with Burfict on the field. It is obviously difficult for the coaching staff to keep him under control. Yet, it is also obvious why they choose to keep him despite the unpredictability in his character.
The suspension levied against Burfict was well deserved. Marvin Lewis took it even further by not allowing him to participate in any preseason games. Consequently, it has been quite awhile since Bengals Nation has heard from him. It has also been quite awhile since fans have seen defensive passion from their Cincinnati Bengals.
No one wants to see players hurt on purpose or to see defenders targeting the head of opposing players. Nor does any Bengals fan want to see their team helping a Steelers player up after tackling him. There must be a balance between passion and playing the game the right way. Hopefully, when Burfict returns, this Bengals team regains their passion and hatred for the opposing team.