Lewis: No downside to giving Burfict a shot
Former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been through his fair share of ups and downs, and after going undrafted in the NFL, he has gotten his shot with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said that he was happy to sign Burfict, because there was absolutely no risk.
During an interview on NFL Network's NFL Total Access, Lewis said that Burfict's play has gotten a lot better, and he is pleased about what he has seen.
"We're providing the opportunity for Vontaze," he said. "He'll continue to get better. He's changing his body physically from the body that played in the '11 season at Arizona State. He's a much lighter player now again, and I'm pleased with what he did last week in our rookie camp. I want to see him continue to get better and it'll be fun next week when we get the full team out here in OTAs."
When asked about Burfict's behavioral issues, Lewis said that it shouldn't be about his past.
"We didn't pick him," Lewis said. "We signed him after the draft as a college free agent. There's been a lot of players picked by a lot of teams that have had a very checkered past. This is all about Vontaze's future and not what he's done in the past."
After a lackluster junior year at Arizona State, off the field struggles and a rough combine, Burfict fell from being one of the highest-ranked linebackers to not being picked at all in the 2012 draft.
Burfict still has to prove himself and will have to continue impress the coaches over the summer if he is to earn a roster spot come Week One.
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