Bengals News

Are the Cincinnati Bengals a dirty team?

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Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) tackles Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (33) during the first quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) tackles Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (33) during the first quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bengals team has been accused of being dirty in the past. They do have some questionable players on the team, but are they dirty as a whole?

For years now opposing teams have complained about the Bengals play on defense. The word that comes up most often is “dirty.” The term refers to players that intentionally do things to injure players on the other team. There are two players who are typically brought up more than the others when it comes to complaints. Those two are Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict. To be honest, there is some pretty compelling evidence stacked up against these two guys. However, do the actions of two players really mean the team as a whole is dirty?

The Evidence

Let’s have an honest discussion about Vontaze Burfict. The guy is an aggressive, motivated beast of a linebacker. He has also taken it too far on more than one occasion and done things to deliberately harm opposing players. There are more than just a few instances of Burfict trying to hurt opposing both during and after the play.

So far, his rap sheet includes but is not limited to twisting Cam Newton‘s ankle/knee, tearing Le’Veon Bell’s ACL, going after Matellus Bennett’s knees, and giving Antonio Brown a concussion. Several players have taken notice of Burfict’s antics including Bell, Bennett and all around good guy Greg Olson. It seems that based on the mounting evidence, Burfict should, in fact, be considered a dirty player.

Another player on the team accused of being dirty is Adam “Pacman” Jones. Jones has had fewer on-field incidents than Burfict but also has his fair share of personal fouls. One of his most notable flags was in the infamous Wild Card game against the Steelers. Everyone still remembers when he and Burfict were each penalized 15 yards on back-to-back personal fouls. Jones has also been accused of trying to injure players when making tackles, twisting ankles, and trying to rip helmets off. In addition to his on-field issues, Jones has, of course, had plenty of off the field notoriety as well. Most recently, his misdemeanor charge.

So What If A Few Players Are Dirty?

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It may be true that the Bengals have two dirty players, does this mean that the whole team is dirty? Not necessarily. There are plenty of upstanding Bengals players on the roster that aren’t interested in cheap shots or injuring the opposition. However, players with big personalities and high energy can often influence other players on the team.

Younger players come in and see the tactics the veterans use and the attitude they have. The rookies take on the persona of the veterans and if they happen to be dirty, that’s how the rookies will be. This is how a team can swing from having a few dirty players to becoming a dirty team. Although dirty players can have a certain intimidation factor, most fans would prefer to not have to hear about it.

What Does It Say About Management

One of the most interesting parts of the equation is that management hasn’t done much to amend the situation. Burfict and Jones are still on the team even after numerous on-field and off-field incidents. Does Bengals management believe these players can turn things around, or do they simply not care about the negative press from having people like this on the team? It’s hard to say it’s just because everyone deserves a second chance when the same thing seems to happen over and over again with these two.

Next: Who Dey Notes: Vigil And Burfict

The fact of the matter is that it’s hard to say the Bengals team as a whole is dirty in spite of what other teams have said. There are certainly players on the team who warrant the label. Fans are tired of hearing that their team is dirty because of a couple of individuals making poor decisions. This is where management needs to step in and take action, even if the player in question is an asset to the team as far as their play is concerned.

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