The Bengals have a 250-pound cement truck named Vontaze Burfict on the defensive side of the ball. Should he change his style?
If anyone is still interested, the Bengals are in Week 4 of the preseason. They actually have other players on the team that will contribute to the game. But, the star, er, villain of the moment is Vontaze Burfict. Since being handed another suspension by the powers that be in the NFL, he will miss another season opener. This time, it’s a rare date at Paul Brown Stadium.
When the football fan outside of Bengals Nation hears about Burfict, it’s usually through a filter of negativity and–quite frankly–biased opinion. But, the truth of the matter is in plain black and white. Burfict is the perfect hitting machine. He’s the prototype linebacker who puts the fear of the football gods into players. However, that seems to be something the NFL is trying to phase out. In fact, the latest rules changes are making it so.
What’s really happening? Players with the skill set of Burfict are going to be targeted. Instead of the monstrous blows that used to be a standard on any given Sunday (had to do that), the norm will be changed. Does that include the man who wears No. 55? Probably.
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The Wrong…Right Message
In an effort to help players increase their years on the field and also better their quality of life, things are changing. It’s good to see the NFL making strides to get things in order for the athletes. But, there’s always a catch. Now, it seems like rule will be open to interpretation. Unfortunately, that line of thought will be trained on…Burfict.
The style of play that intimidates opponents and infuriates some fans is what brought the Bengals notoriety. Along with that bump in attention, Burfict’s hard-hitting work ethic is refreshing. Let’s face it. The man is a human wrecking ball on adrenaline overload. Marvin Lewis gave his version of Tez’s abilities, per Bengals.com.
"“Vontaze has changed — he has learned, and he has changed. But, he’s a 250-pound man that hits like dynamite. I mean, it’s like being hit by a cement truck. And that’s just the way he plays. That’s why he is the player that he is. He’s got great hip explosion, and the dynamics of his body are such that it’s like being hit by a 300-pound person.”"
Personally, that’s the type of defender I want patrolling the field. But, if the NFL keeps changing the parameters and making examples of players, cue the Mozart and grab the ballerina slippers.
I have nothing against making the game safe. That’s a good thing. But, honestly, I’d rather see the cement truck thing. Yeah.