Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/4/13
Vontaze Burfict has done many incredible things this season, including leading the outstanding Cincinnati Bengals' defense in tackles.When last year's Draft came around, Burfict was a 1st-2nd round prospect.He ended up falling to being an undrafted rookie free agent. Marvin Lewis was told that he shouldn't pick him up, too much trouble. When has that ever stopped coach Lewis? He's taken gambles from Chad Johnson to Adam "Pacman" Jones and players like Cedric Benson.When Burfict was signed to the Bengals' 53-man roster, Lewis knew he had potential, It was just a matter of controlling his behavior. Throughout this season, Burfict, hasn't been in any sort of trouble. Actually, he's done nothing but cause trouble for opposing teams. Burfict this season has had 127 tackles, and in his last regular season game as a rookie, had 18 combined tackles.With trouble, and a absolutely terrible Draft Combine, Burfict impressed no one. Did that stop the risk taking coach in Cincy? No sir. Ever since his college days Burfict has been a tackling machine, having no less than 60 tackles in his three seasons there, and in his first season as a pro, had again, 127 tackles!He wasn't always the sack leader, or the fumble-forcer -- in fact, he had one sack this season, and seven in his career at Arizona State. Now here's the problem, nobody outside Ohio has any clue who Burfict is.He finished 2nd in rookie tackles behind Luke Kuechly, and if you go to any website giving their Defensive Rookie of The Year predictions, nobody will even mention his name. Burfict has led this Cincinnati linebacking corps to the NFL Playoffs, along with the help of that defensive line.Nonetheless, Burfict will have more tremendous years to come. This season, he earned the nickname "Mr. Burfict" from me.
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