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Vontaze Burfict: We had to stand up to the Steelers

The former Bengals linebacker reflects on his time in Cincinnati.

Wild Card Round - Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In a recent interview, All Pro linebacker Vontaze Burfict and All Pro returner Adam Pacman Jones explained how they helped change the culture under Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati. Part of that meant helping teammates overcome their fear of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here’s what they said...

Burfict: When I came in to the Cincinnati Bengals rivalry, the Steelers were like the bullies in Cincinnati, and me and Pac weren’t going for that.

Jones: No.

Burfict: We were like, “Hold on, bro. We’re going to have to drop our...”

Jones: Our nuts.

Burfict: “... and toughen up and make sure we get these division wins.” And it took a couple years until we could get it to stick to everybody else on the defense and the offense [that] we ain’t scared of nothing.

Watch the interview below:

Burfict also talked about the Wild Card game against the Steelers and how the coaches got him prepared:

I had a big role going into that week. They had me as like an x person. I’m traveling. I could go jam AB [Antonio Brown]. I could go safety. I could do everything. So I was just motivated.

Needless to say, Burfict delivered, recording a clutch sack and interception in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, he and Jones were both flagged with only 22 seconds remaining, setting up a game-winning field goal, which for many has erased the memory of his incredible play up until that moment.