Antonio Brown: Vontaze Burfict apologized in person for ugly hit
Antonio Brown indicated that Vontaze Burfict apologized to him in personduring the offseason for an ugly, concussion-causing hit that occurred in the Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals playoff game last season.
Burfict’s Hit on Brown… https://t.co/O6YyO5p7oK
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) January 10, 2016
The Bengals linebacker, who has made his extreme disdain for the Steelers organization well-known over the years, was penalized, later fined and ultimately suspended for the first three games of the 2016 NFL season in part for the head shot on Brown, along with other questionable plays.
The Steelers face the Bengals on Sunday, so it’s not surprising Brown was asked about the infamous play. Brown indicated on Tuesday to ESPN that he and Burfict crossed paths in Miami during the offseason.
“[He was] just saying he didn’t have no intentions of trying to injure, that it was a football move,” Brown said.
“You know, it’s football. It’s not intentional. Play the game long enough, you may take a shot or two. It’s great to be able to bounce back and I’m excited to be in Cincinnati this weekend.”
Brown added that Burfict also reached out on social media, saying, “I think over Twitter he sent over condolences.”
The Steelers wide receiver previously referred to Burfict as an “idiot” but has certainly has tempered his view of the linebacker.
Playing a huge role in any lingering antagonism is how Burfict’s history with the Steelers is littered with several questionable plays, including one last season where Ben Roethlisberger claims the linebacker was intentionally trying to injure him.
With all that in mind, it’s not surprising that he’s being made into a central figure leading into Sunday’s match-up, especially given he was serving his suspension when the two teams faced one another in Week 2.
But to say that Brown has completely forgiven Burfict or forgotten about the egregious on-field transgression wouldn’t be entirely accurate.
”I don’t have no issue with any guy. I’m a football player. I’m a competitor,” Brown said. “When we’re in the field, we’re going to compete and be competitive. It’s not personal between none of these guys. It’s all in the game. … I represent the Steelers. It’s all business.”
The Steelers and Bengals will renew their rivalry on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium at 1 p.m. ET.