PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict #7 of the Arizona State Sun Devils gestures as he warms up for the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 5, 2011 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 29-28. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Newest Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict deflected questions about the baggage he's bringing from Arizona State during Friday's rookie minicamp. Deflected might be a little strong. Based on his comments it appears that Burfict is more interested in a fresh start -- something that Marvin Lewis is giving him the opportunity to do.
"It's about time to get the pads on," Burfict said, "The combine was not too go for me, so just for me be in a defense and know where I'm playing is just wonderful and blessed."
When asked about his college career -- the stuff that has nothing to do with football itself -- Burfict went into deflection mode that would normally compare with responses during Congressional Hearings:
"Talking about what happened to me at Arizona State isn't going to help the Bengals get even better."
Indeed it won't. And Marvin Lewis has admitted that Burfict has much to do, tons to prove, before he can be considered for a spot on the 53-man roster. But we'd say that a fresh start is a good beginning.