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Ravens prepping for Bengals Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict's feisty nature

Cincinnati Bengals standout Vontaze Burfict is from the old school when it comes to intimidation tactics as a mobile, agile and hostile linebacker.

There's an extra emphasis on hostile as the Pro Bowl linebacker was penalized 14 times last season, including eight unnecessary roughness penalties.

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The Ravens are keenly aware of Burfict's feisty reputation. He was flagged for personal fouls in each of his two games against the Ravens last season.

Tight end Dennis Pitta said the Ravens will maintain their composure against Burfict, a former undrafted free agent who led the NFL with 171 tackles last season and was recently signed to a four-year, $19 million extension.

"I think we threw up a statistic today that he's had the most tackles in the league and also the most penalties," Pitta said. "He's someone who likes to get into it, which is great for him. He's passionate about football. He likes to play and has fun out there. We've got to be able to control our emotions if he tries to get it out of us."

Last year, Burfict was penalized for hitting quarterback Joe Flacco out of bounds last November and then accused an unnamed Ravens assistant coach of shoving him after the play on the sidelined. A review of the game video didn't support Burfict's allegation.

"The funny thing is, I was on their sideline, and I think it was the defensive coordinator, and he pushed me," Burfict said last November. "I was thinking, 'Come on, man. You should have a little more class than that.' And I will try to turn that into the league."

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees was in the coaches' box at the time, though.

On the video, Burfict was seen arguing with several Ravens as coach John Harbaugh held back some of his players.

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith got into a confrontation with Burfict last season when he pushed the linebacker down to the ground, retaliating after Burfict went after wide receiver Jacoby Jones after a play was over.

"Yes, I heard him allege it," Harbaugh said last year when asked about Burfict's comments. "That's all I heard. I don't take too much stock in that stuff. I thought our guys did a great job conducting themselves in that game with great poise and great class in spite of some of the stuff that went on."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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