It certainly wasn’t a shock to see Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict go into full thug-mode during their Sunday loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and that was highlighted by his third quarter roughing of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After Burfict slammed Roethlisberger down to the ground long after he had handed the football off to wide receiver Sammie Coates on an end-around play, the two players appeared to have exchanged some words.
During his Tuesday morning interview on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger was asked to reveal what words were exchanged between him and Burfict after that hit and you might be surprised at what he said.
“It’s nothing what you’d expect,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s actually I talked to him. I don’t remember if he said anything to me, it was what I said to him and I can share it because this is my show and it’s actually very good what I said anyway. I told him, I said, “hey this is a great opportunity for me to tell you exactly what my wife wanted me to tell you if I got a chance. She wanted me to tell you that she’s praying for you.’ And that’s what I told him, no joke. I told him that and he had nothing to say back to me which I don’t know what you do say back to that.”
Leading up to Sunday’s game there was a lot of talk about how Burfict seemed to be somewhat reformed over the course of the last several weeks and especially since he was fined for his actions in the Bengals loss to the New England Patriots earlier in the season. Roethlisberger was asked if he saw a reformed Burfict on Sunday.
“No,” said Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger went on to say in so many words that Burfict is still very much a loose cannon and that even some of his teammates are getting tired of his on-the-field antics.
“It’s uncalled for,” Roethlisberger said. “I don’t get why he does some of the stuff and his teammates don’t get it either. I’ve talked to them.”
Even though Roethlisberger did blast Burfict quite a bit during his Tuesday interview, he did have a few positive things to say about the Bengals linebacker.
“I’m going to say this about Burfict, he’s a phenomenal football player,” Roethlisberger said. “He is a great linebacker and he’s one that people could talk about for a long time to come because of his skill and unfortunately and maybe it’s just what he wants, maybe it’s the persona that he has to do for himself to physic himself up, I don’t really know, but it’s unfortunate because he is such a good football player.”
The Steelers are done with the Bengals this season and thankfully they escaped both meetings with them without a player being seriously injured by Burfict, who will likely be fined for his Sunday hit on Roethlisberger later this week. Will he be suspended again for those actions as well? We’ll see.