Cheap Football Bengals Elite Vontaze Burfict Jerseys 2017

CINCINNATI – Bengals coach Marvin Lewis defended Vontaze Burfict’s style of play in the wake of a pending five-game suspension. Lewis said that Burfict has changed his style of play after getting a three-game suspension last year for violations of player safety.

“In my opinion Vontaze has changed,’ Lewis said. “He’s learned, he’s changed, but in my opinion he’s a 250-pound man that hits like a dynamite. It’s like getting hit by a cement truck. That’s just the way he plays. He’s got great hip explosion; that’s why he’s the player he is. … The dynamics of his body are such that it’s like getting hit by a 300-pound person.”
While Vontaze Burfict has changed his style, his tackles are “like getting hit by a cement truck,” according to his coach, Marvin Lewis AP Photo/Gary Landers
Burfict has a conference call Tuesday to potentially appeal the suspension. The NFL appointed James Thrash as the appeals officer, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Lewis said the play in question, which occurred in the Bengals’ preseason game against the Chiefs, was within the rules.

“Sometimes in interpretation things got lost, and hopefully Vontaze will prevail,” Lewis said.

Burfict is on the NFL’s repeat offender list, which is likely why he got an unprecedented five-game suspension after the Chiefs game. He has been fined numerous times by the league for plays it has considered questionable.

The play in question was a hit to Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman, who was not the intended receiver on the play.

The league recently added a new rule emphasizing hits on defenseless receivers, but Lewis said this particular play was not one of the examples listed when the NFL explained the new rules to players in the preseason.

“It’s within the rules,” Burfict said. “You can hit the receiver in 5 yards; you just can’t hit him in the helmet or neck area. I hit him in the chest area. I guess they just have it out for me, I guess. It’s whatever.”
Lewis said the league’s issue with the hit was that it came from the side, where the receiver could not see him. Lewis said that wasn’t possible

“The interpretation is that it’s away from the play, does Vontaze hit him from the back, or from the side, or does he put his shoulder into the number of the Kansas City Chiefs player?” Lewis said. “Obviously I would have to be facing you to put my number there. That seems pretty obvious.”

Lewis said he was surprised when the suspension came down, because Burfict did not lead with his helmet to try to make the tackle. The NFL is also emphasizing helmet-to-helmet hits.

“His head was out to the left, as you can see in every single angle,” Lewis said. “Behind, front, television, All-22, it’s always out to the side and in front of the player. There’s no contact whatsoever. And if you have to slow down things in high definition and go frame by frame, and you’re still not sure, we don’t officiate the game that way. … I don’t see how the players can be held to that standard as well.”

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NFL Players Association president Eric Winston agreed with DeMaurice Smith’s recent comments that a work stoppage in 2021 is likely, given the current relationship between the union and the league.

But Winston took it a step further Monday in an interview with WCPO in Cincinnati, suggesting that players shouldn’t care that a strike or lockout “might kill the goose that laid the golden egg.”

“Honestly I don’t care and I don’t think the guys in this locker room care whether [the NFL] is going to be around in 20 years because none of us are going to be playing,” Winston, an offensive tackle for the Bengals, told WCPO. “So if these guys [the owners] want to own for a long time, then they can own for a long time. But another work stoppage might kill the golden goose.”

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A work stoppage in 2021 is “almost a virtual certainty,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told Sports Illustrated in a video interview posted Thursday.

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Smith, the union’s executive director, said last week that “the likelihood of either a strike or a lockout is almost a virtual certainty.”

Speaking at a fan forum hosted by the Detroit Lions, commissioner Roger Goodell said he hopes the two sides can come to an agreement before a work stoppage.

“I think projections of whether there’s going to be a work stoppage are really not the point,” Goodell said. “The point should be let’s sit down and figure out our differences and get it solved and do what’s right for our fans and the game and try to make this an even more popular game collectively. And that’s what I hope will happen.”

The NFL’s current collective bargaining agreement, which is set to expire in 2021, was finalized after a 132-day lockout in 2011.

Winston, 33, said the union is preparing its players for another prolonged labor dispute but emphasized that the long-term health of the NFL is not a concern of his.

“I’m certainly not worried about it,” he said. “I’m not going to be around that long. I don’t care if even if there are rookies in here — they’re not going to be playing that long.

“So if this thing dies out in 20 years, it dies out in 20 years. That’s not really my concern, and I don’t think it’s any of these players’ concern in here, either.”

Smith, when asked about Winston’s comments during an interview Tuesday with ESPN’s Outside the Lines, said the veteran offensive lineman is “a person who understands the frame and business of football.”

“The owners locked us out the last time,” Smith said. “They took the decision to make sure that people didn’t have a place to work. They cut off the insurance to our families. They wanted to force an 18-game schedule. What are you supposed to do? Fight back, right?”

Winston is a 12-year veteran and has been the NFLPA’s president since March 2014. He acknowledged that there are “always going to be issues between labor and management,” but also said that a work stoppage will be the “inevitable outcome” unless serious progress is made in negotiations.

The NFLPA has clashed in recent years with the NFL over player discipline in such high-profile cases as Adrian Peterson’s suspension for child abuse, Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension and, most recently, Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension for alleged domestic violence.

Goodell said he thinks that while neither side is getting exactly what it wants, the current labor deal does work for both sides.

“We believe that we have a labor agreement that is working well for the players, is working well for the NFL, and I think as a result is working well for our fans,” Goodell said. “We think we should continue that. Now, does that mean we think it’s perfect? No. Does that mean the players think it’s perfect? No. But this should be a basis for us to work together and get it solved.”

Winston also was asked Monday why he thinks fans tend to side with ownership in labor disputes.
“My personal theory is [fans] think they have a stake in the team,” he said. “I was as blindsided by it probably as anybody [in 2011]. … They don’t look at the issues the way we look at issues — wages, hours, working conditions, and health and safety. You could talk about the same thing in a coal miners’ union meeting as we do in our meetings.

“I think fans look at the team and say that that’s their team — they have an ownership in that. That’s why you always hear fans say, ‘Oh, the salary cap,’ and they think they’re kinda the general managers. Obviously fantasy football and things like that play into it.”

Information from ESPN’s Michael Rothstein was used in this report.

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Lost in the Colin Kaepernick-Ravens saga was the fact that the Ravens had someone they believed was a solid backup option in Ryan Mallett.

But during the team’s flirtation with the Pro Bowl free agent, the Baltimore Sun reported that Mallett hurled seven interceptions over the course of two practices on Friday and Saturday (five on Friday alone). As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, Baltimore would likely only sign Kaepernick if they viewed him as an upgrade over Mallett and not just because they needed a camp arm while Joe Flacco recovers from a back issue.

This quickly became Mallett’s burden to bear. In the meantime, he doesn’t seem fazed by the competition coming from outside the facility.
“We’re worried about the Ravens right now,” Mallett said Sunday, via The Sun. “If he comes, cool. If he doesn’t, cool. We don’t really care about that right now.”

The Ravens have openly admitted to speaking with Kaepernick over the last few weeks. They’ve canvassed the fanbase for opinions and even polled some of the franchise’s more recognizable faces. If popularity is part of the equation, Kaepernick was revealed to still be on the NFLPA’s top 50 merchandise list on Good Morning Football Tuesday. At No. 39, Kaepernick is the only player on the list to not currently be on an NFL roster.

Thanks to a report from NFL Network’s Michael Silver, who cited someone familiar with Kaepernick’s thinking, we now know the quarterback is eager to return under any circumstance. Money is also not an issue.

Does that mean it is simply becoming a Mallett issue at this point?

“I’ve got to get better,” Mallett told the Sun. “This is what training camp is for. … It’s a long training camp, a long preseason, and that’s what this is for.”

It’s important to note in Mallett’s defense that training camp practice interceptions are largely meaningless. As Mallett himself noted, after inheriting starter’s snaps from Joe Flacco, he’s also getting a new group of wide receivers to work with after barely getting used to the second-string wideouts during his time in offseason workouts. Should that even out, we may be hearing less about outside competition in Baltimore.