Cincinnati Bengals veteran tackle Andrew Whitworth wants to let everybody know that his teammate, linebacker Vontaze Burfict isn’t the only dirty player currently in the NFL. In fact, he went as far as to accuse Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell of being one as well.
“There are a lot of guys that play nasty,” Whitworth said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “Nobody talks about (Steelers safety) Mike Mitchell vaulting (Bengals wide receiver) A.J. Green in our first game trying to take his helmet off on an incomplete pass. Why wasn’t he judged to be a monster? He’s got a lot of helmet-to-helmet hits. We all keep playing into the narrative. My point is just don’t even talk about it. It’s stupid. Let them talk about it.”
Whitworth should probably understand that Burfict is being closely watched by media and fans alike because of his past history which was added to on Sunday in the Bengals loss to the New England Patriots. While Burfict wasn’t fined for hitting Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett in the knee area away from one particular play during Sunday’s game, the league did take $75,000 out of his weekly pay as a result of him apparently stomping on the leg or ankle of Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount after his one-yard touchdown late in the contest.
As a result of that latest disciplinary action by the league, Burfict has now been fined or suspended eight times in 53 games and it’s cost him $805,000 of his earnings, according to Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
For Whitworth to compare Burfict to Mitchell is quite funny. Sure, Mitchell has been fined and penalized a few times during his career, but he’s nowhere on the level of Burfict, or Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, for that matter.
As for that play that Whitworth referenced in this year’s first meeting between the Bengals and the Steelers, as you can see in the gif below, Mitchell did indeed vault over Green. What else was he supposed to do? Whitworth could have at least picked a play where Mitchell was actually flagged for an illegal hit.
I think Whitworth is just frustrated right now with his teammate as he seems to be going through what the Steelers went through several years ago with linebacker James Harrison. While Harrison has been fined multiple times during his career for hits, never has it been because he stomped on another players’ leg while he was down on the ground.
I suspect that Whitworth will have to make more feeble attempts to defend Burfict’s actions before his career is over as the Bengals linebacker is as advertised and that’s dirty player, who intentionally tries to hurt other players. He really is a monster.