Bengals News

Burfict’s leadership role will ignite Bengals’ passion

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Sep 29, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive guard Jermon Bushrod (74) battles Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) for position in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive guard Jermon Bushrod (74) battles Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) for position in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Vontaze Burfict has been the heartbeat of the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense since his early days on the field. Now, he’s officially been handed the torch.

Believe it or not, this is exactly what the Cincinnati Bengals need. With all the negative press and lack of love on the national scene, Vontaze Burfict could be the answer. The least likely of players will have to step up and lead the Bengals’ young defense. But, that’s a win-win scenario for a team that could use a shot of adrenaline. The league’s big, bad bully will have a chance to rub off on his veteran teammates and influence the rookies as well.

It’s easy to look back at the 2015 Wild Card game and point fingers. On that rain-soaked and dreary evening, the Bengals nearly pulled off the win of the decade. Part of that celebration would have been due to Burfict doing what he does so well. His fire and drive led to an interception that should have iced the game. But, as all true Bengals fans remember, a defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. The blame was placed on the shoulders of Burfict and Adam Jones. But, to assure a calm blood pressure reading, we won’t venture down that road again. Enough said.

His fire and drive led to an interception that should have iced the game. But, as all true Bengals fans remember, a defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. The blame was placed on the shoulders of Burfict and Adam Jones. But, to assure a calm blood pressure reading, we won’t venture down that road again. Enough said. 

Burfict The Brainiac? 

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What stands out about Burfict taking on a leadership role? The Bengals’ WILL linebacker has been labeled as the AFC simpleton. He’s the bane of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the poster boy for anger management. Well, that’s what “they” say. But, Cincinnati fans know him as a fiery player with a throwback style unmatched by today’s players. He’s more than the stereotypical big, dumb lummox running around the field. He’s intelligent and understands the intricacies of the game. Linebacker Nick Vigil gladly verifies the fact, via Bengals.com.

"“He’s one of these guys he knows everything. He’s making calls and communicating very well so when you’re out there with him it’s a lot easier. The way he understands what the offense is going to do, he’ll call the play out before it happens just by formation. He’s an unbelievably good player.”"

When Jim Haslett took on the role of Bengals linebackers coach, he was well aware of Burfict’s knowledge and love of the game.

"“He’s got great instincts. I understand he’s very, very smart,” Haslett said. “He’s very powerful. He’s one of the best tacklers I’ve seen in a long time. So from an on-field perspective, just watching tape and having not met him yet, I think he’s one of the top linebackers in the National Football League.”"

That’s the kind of notoriety and dedication young players need exposure to. Not only is Burfict a threat on the field, he’s able to teach what needs to be done.  

Bring The Noise And The Pain

Simply put, Burfict is the heartbeat of the defense and having him as the fiery leader will only help the Bengals’ defense grasp the mission faster. The 2017 season will be a test for Paul Guenther’s gang and Burfict is the man to get the point across.

Next: AFC North Run Down

Vigil gave a warning to the rest of the AFC North and the league. 

"“Everybody says this is the best they’ve seen him look,” Vigil emphasised. “He’s in great shape and moving fast.”"

In other words, the Bengals’ will have the fire and passion they need to make a run for the postseason. But, that’s a pit stop on the road to bigger dreams and achievements.

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