Bengals coach Marvin Lewis: “I would have hit him with a 2×4”
Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis didn’t beat around the bush when he chewed out linebacker Vontaze Burfict. In football fighting is common especially during training camp when the summer heat gets to players. Every year there are videos shown of scuffles that break out during intense practices. So why was Marvin Lewis upset with Burfict for fighting veteran running back Stephen Jackson in a recent joint practice with the Atlanta Falcons? Well for starters, Burfict picked up an alarming 16 personal fouls in his final 26 games at Arizona State before joining the Bengals as an undrafted free agent last year.
Although Burfict only picked up one unnecessary roughness penalty last season for the Bengals, coach Lewis obviously wants to keep Burfict from becoming a loose-cannon again. Burfict turned into a solid linebacker for the Bengals last year and Lewis wants him to channel his aggression on the football field instead of extracurricular activities that could cost the Bengals in a game.
“I told him if he did that to me what he did to Steven, I would have hit him with a two by four,” Lewis said. “Steven should have gotten him in his sleep last night.”
Lewis objected to Burfict jumping on Jackson’s back after Burfict blew up the fullback and met Jackson in the hole. But then, one of Burfict’s hallmarks is he doesn’t back down and he wasn’t going to back down to Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowler with 10,000 yards, after Tuesday morning’s walkthrough.
Burfict commented on the situation and clearly wasn’t going to back down from Stephen Jackson. In fact, Burfict predicted Jackson will get fined this season for his running style.
“He runs with his head down 75 percent of the time. He’ll get fined a couple of times,” Burfict said of the new rule that prevents runners from using the crown of their helmets outside the tackle box and three yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
“I got off the block and Jackson was running with his head down, which you’re not supposed to do. He was running with his head completely down. My arm wrapped around his body, whatever, and he just kept running with his head down and at the end he tried to give me a shove and he called me a bleep.”