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Former Arizona State Sun Devils linebacker Vontaze Burfict and head coach Dennis Erickson had their issues, and it seemed to contribute to ASU's troubles on the football field. Burfict is currently thriving with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Arizona State Sun Devils did not perform so well during the final years of Vontaze Burfict. The Sun Devils went 4-8, 6-6, and 6-7 during his three seasons in the desert, including a final collapse in his junior season. Additionally, when he decided to turn pro a year early, ASU lost six of their final seven games and Burfict was increasingly marginalized with each passing game. His draft stock took a hit as a result of character issues, penalties and constant benchings
Burfict's final days in Tempe coincided with the final days for ASU head coach Dennis Erickson, and Erickson definitely didn't perform so well either; his teams never did better than .500 in his final four seasons. Burfict let it be known that he and his head coach had their issues in a radio interview with XTRA Sports 910.
On his relationship with his Arizona State coach, Dennis Erickson:
"Me and him had multiple conversations, but we weren’t seeing eye-to-eye on numerous occasions and it kind of affected me and him on the field of play. I love Coach Erickson deep down, and he was a great coach, great linebacker coach as well. But we just let other things affect his coaching and my playing on the field. That happens sometimes."
Burfict was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent, and he's become an immediate contributor, racking up 25 tackles in the team's last four games.