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Raiders DC Paul Guenther rails against NFL’s handling of Vontaze Burfict

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther railed Thursday versus the NFL upholding its year-prolonged suspension of center linebacker Vontaze Burfict, contacting it a “witch hunt” that might have finished Burfict’s occupation.

An incensed Guenther, who has been a father-figure to Burfict from their days with each other with the Cincinnati Bengals, also mentioned the Raiders did not know Burfict was one particular infraction absent from remaining banned and that the staff would be keeping tabs on the rest of the league to make sure other gamers are held to the exact same common as Burfict for very similar hits.

“I consider it was a witch hunt from the beginning, pretty actually,” Guenther reported. “Any person in the league failed to want him actively playing soccer and they received what they needed.

“Does it make any sense to signal a person that soon after one particular infraction, he’s likely to get thrown out of the league for a year? No, it would not. So, I assume it’s quite unfair. It can be unfair to our group. It can be unfair to Vontaze.”

Burfict, who has led the NFL with 23 private fouls and 15 flags for unneeded roughness because 2012 whilst obtaining fined $469,119 for on-area violations and forfeiting approximately $3.7 million in game checks due to suspensions and on-subject violations, was in the beginning flagged for avoidable roughness for his hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle‘s head in Week 4. Right after a overview by the sport official in New York, Burfict was ejected. A day later on, the NFL declared it had suspended Burfict for the remainder of the period.

Burfict appealed but very last week Derrick Brooks, who performed for Raiders coach Jon Gruden with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and ended Abundant Gannon’s vocation on a then-legal helmet-to-helmet strike in 2004, upheld the suspension.

“Getting rid of Burfict is large,” Gruden stated Wednesday. “I am nonetheless not satisfied about it. I am just not happy about it. We think in player security, I will say that. We coach it, we believe that in it and we definitely strain it. But 12 online games, I’m not pleased about that. But it is what it is.”

And even though NFL Vice President of Football Functions Jon Runyan wrote in his preliminary announcement of the suspension that Burfict had been warned regularly that “upcoming violations would final result in escalated accountability measures,” Guenther was aghast.

“You will find no conventional, and that’s the situation,” Guenther stated. “There is certainly practically nothing (that claims), ‘Hey, future time you do this, you are absent for the year. Perhaps your vocation.’ I consider which is unfair. You can alert a male, but place that in creating — the following time this comes about, you might be performed … it truly is unfair to all the players about the league to not know.

“And now, they have opened a complete can of worms, as much as the next guy who’s likely to do it. So, we have acquired to make confident, if we’re likely to do it to this one particular person, this one particular guy driving 38 mph in a 30-mph zone for the cop searching for 1 male executing it, that all the players are held to the very same common. To me, that is where by I have the challenge.”

Raiders linebacker Tahir Whitehead reported Burfict was trying to improve his picture.

“Of course, you lose a terrific player, chief of the team, captain on the crew, it really is rough,” Whitehead reported. “It just sucks because I think you will find been a focus on on his back. Acquiring to know him and how he was seeking to method this 12 months and be a distinct man and not be that very same person that men and women (have) recognized him for. It was a bang-bang enjoy.

“Okay, he has history and all that, but this total period he hadn’t had a penalty still. You are speaking about a guy that’s supporting men up. He performs the match tough but this 12 months you just observed a distinction in not obtaining into altercations and all the things like he has in the previous. Right there, that says growth.”

Guenther was requested how Burfict, who signed a 1-12 months contract with a foundation income of $1.15 million with the Raiders this spring, was managing the suspension.

“How would you deal with it if you basically obtained your job taken absent, like that?” Guenther mentioned. “And not really know that that’s what is going to come about. He may not enjoy football once again. And that’s a tough matter. He is 28 decades previous, all of a unexpected, it is completed and, what team, now that they know the up coming infraction you’re going to be completed for the year, that’s a rough pill to swallow, without realizing that was likely to be the consequence. To me, that is not appropriate.”



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