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Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict: ‘I hate Pittsburgh’

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Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict didn’t mince his words when expressing how he feels about Saturday’s playoff opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Before quickly exiting the locker room following Wednesday’s practice, the controversial player — who already has made himself a villain in the eyes of Steelers fans — not to mention the team’s players — uttered his antagonistic attitude toward the Bengals’ bitter division rivals.

“I hate Pittsburgh,” he said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It’s not personal. That’s just the way it is.”

Burfict arguably has made a case for being Public Enemy No. 1 among Steelers Nation due to his conduct in the two games played between the squads this season. Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster accused Burfict of purposely trying to injure Le’Veon Bell during a Week 8 game, a 16-10 Bengals victory.

The Steelers also didn’t appreciate how Burfict appeared to celebrate when Bell suffered a torn medial collateral ligament during the game.

Ben Roethlisberger also accused Burfict of intentionally going low on him on a play in an effort to injure him.

“He definitely was diving in low and going for my legs,” Roethlisberger said after the 33-20 Steelers victory. “It’s tough. I am just glad I didn’t get hurt.”

Nothing ratchets up the bad blood between division rivals like a playoff game. With the teams splitting the season series and tensions running high, the third match-up has all the makings of a bitter battle. And Burfict’s comments certainly aren’t going to temper the extreme animosity.