Burfict May Be The Pur-fict Choice To Run Defense
By Joe Sorensen
There is a new sheriff in town…and he’s only 22. Second-year OLB Vontaze Burfict, will be the new extension of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
Burfict, who signed with the Bengals in 2012 as an undrafted free agent, does not turn 23 years old until two days before the third game of the season. With some expecting the Bengals to continue where they left off last season, it will start with the new captain who, as a rookie last season, led the team with 127 tackles.
The decision to make Burfict a captain was an interesting one considering he is expected to lead a linebacker group with two experienced veterans lining up alongside of him. In the middle is fifth-year veteran Rey Maualuga and opposite Burfict is James Harrison, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Both veterans would have been considered smart choices for the defensive captain this season.
With more and more expectations being piled on the Bengals, it will take a solid season from more than just Burfict to see them reach the AFC Divisional Round or even the conference championship game. With experienced players such as Maualuga and Harrison, the new captain would seem to be in a perfect situation to succeed.