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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
, 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.
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

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.