Bengals Praising Undrafted Free Agent Linebacker Vontaze Burfict

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: Vontaze Burfict #7 of the Arizona State Sun Devils points and yells at quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the University of Southern California Trojans just prior to a play at Sun Devil Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis loves himself some linebackers. Since being one at Idaho State University, he's coached linebackers at Idaho State (after his playing career), Long Beach State, the University of New Mexico, University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Steelers before becoming a defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins.

So it's not surprising that Lewis praised the work of undrafted free agents Emmanuel Lamur and more recently Vontaze Burfict. Over the weekend Lewis said of Burfict.

"He’s out here just trying to make the football team and he’s got a great start," head coach Marvin Lewis said after Burfict took another step.

Starting middle linebacker Rey Maualuga agreed, saying that "he's way ahead of schedule and where he thought he'd be." Burfict is currently listed as the team's third-string middle linebacker in the midst of a competition battle with Roddrick Muckelroy to become the backup middle linebacker.

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