Vontaze Burfict is a lot of things for those that have followed Arizona State football over the last three seasons. He is immensely talented. I can recall this past season when he almost literally kept an offense out of the endzone when they had the ball first and goal inside the five. He also makes fans insane with his penalties and there was also that strange fight.
Now, in talking about his reputation, he chose to put blame everywhere else, rather than take any responsibility.
When asked about his inconsistent play in 2011, he blamed the coaches for messing with him and whether he was starting or not.
When asked about the penalties, he blamed the referees.
When asked about the fight he had with Kevin Ozier, he only sort of took responsibility. He regrets the fight, but again pointed the finger at those painting him as a bad guy because he ended up swinging a punch.
When asked about the lack of interviews in college, he blamed the writers giving him a bad image.
What he should have done is either do what he did in college and not say anything, or at least take a little responsibility, even if he doesn't mean it.
Personally, I have been torn for some time on Burfict's NFL potential. I see a guy who can disrupt plays. I also see a guy who doesn't always play hard and doesn't seem to be the brightest guy.
He is the perfect "if he can rein things in" player. He has to harness his emotions on the field and yet maintain intensity because otherwise he can disappear.
He says that he is the best linebacker in the draft. If he plays hard, he will be. But that is the issue. Will he hit the practice field hard? Will he work hard in the weight room?
His responses to the questions from the media indicate that he doesn't own up to much. If he never does that, he never will be successful.
He might turn out to be the next Ray Lewis. The problem is that he is a blame-thrower. Those guys don't work real well at all, do they?