Ravens downplaying revenge against Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict

There's not much fondness between the Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals, but the Ravens are doing what they can to stifle any talk of a grudge stemming from an incident involving Cincinnati outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

In the last year's regular-season finale, Burfict leveled Maxx Williams with a helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked the then-rookie tight end off his feet. What angered the Ravens was that Williams was not in the play, and guard John Urschel tweeted video of the play after Burfict blew up Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in a playoff game Pittsburgh won. The NFL fined Burfict $50,000 for the hit on Williams, and suspended him three games for the one on Brown.


Several players took the high road when asked about Burfict's penchant for questionable tackles, which arose again on Oct. 16, when he went low on tight end Martellus Bennett in a 35-17 Bengals loss to the New England Patriots.

"I just want to go out there and play the game," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "I think, for the most part, he does that, but obviously he has had his incidents."

Urschel downplayed the notion of revenge. "No, we're not talking about it," he said. "We're talking about him just like any other player."
Tight end Dennis Pitta said he won't be anxious about catching a pass over the middle with Burfict nearby.

"I know he's got a reputation for some things, but I've never experienced it," said Pitta, who leads the team in catches (49) and ranks third in receiving yards (405). "I think he's a good football player. We expect a physical game, and it's not a matter of being worried about one player or whatever. We're worried about playing our best football, and as long as it's physical and in between the whistles, we're fine with it."

After leading Cincinnati in 2013 in total penalties (12) and unnecessary roughness calls (six), Burfict — who opened the season by serving his three-game suspension — has been flagged just once in seven games this season, for defensive holding. Burfict ranks second on the defense in tackles (63) and has posted two sacks.

His coach, former Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, seemed weary of questions about Burfict during his conference call with Baltimore-area reporters.

"Enough has been written about Vontaze and his adjustment of how to play football the way he's coached to play it," Lewis said. "That's all we continue to do, is have him play the way we coach him to play."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Burfict would be part of the team's scouting report as is every player on the opposing team.


"I'm not probably going to comment on other guys' players and stuff like that," Harbaugh said. "He's a good player. He's a guy you definitely have to be aware of when you play against him."