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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Bengals Announce Burfict Extension

Bengals Announce Burfict Extension

CINCINNATI - The Bengals today signed LB Vontaze Burfict to a contract extension running through the 2017 season. Burfict’s original contract ran through this season, and had that contract run out, he would have been a restricted free agent for 2015.
  Bypassed by NFL teams in the 2012 NFL Draft, Burfict has established himself as one of the most productive college free agent signees by any NFL team in recent years. He has led the Bengals in tackles by wide margins in each of his two seasons, and he led the NFL in tackles in 2013 according to leaguewide press box statistics. He was credited by the Bengals coaching staff last season with 204 tackles, 94 more than the second-place player, and he was voted to the Pro Bowl and to a second-team spot on the Associated Press All-Pro team.    “Vontaze is a special talent; he has shown us that from his first day here,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “He is a load physically (6-1, 255) and he’s extremely competitive, but what really makes him stand out is the instinct and feel he has for the game. It’s something born in him, you can’t coach a player to naturally react the way he does in all situations. This signing is a great move for the future of our defense.”   Burfict also led the Bengals last season in tackles-for-loss (eight), and he tied for the front-seven lead in passes defensed (10). He had 3.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. On Nov. 17 vs. Cleveland, he scored a TD on a 13-yard return of a fumble that he forced, and he also had 18 tackles, winning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
  “It’s great to have this deal done and know I’m going to be here beyond this season,” Burfict said. “We can have a great defense again this year, even better than the last couple years.”
  “It’s unusual to sign a player this early in his career to a contract extension, but Vontaze is a player who merits this,” said Katie Blackburn, Bengals executive vice-president. “He has proven to be an exceptional find for us, and we are happy to reward him now for his accomplishments. It’s good for him and good for our team.”Bengals Announce Burfict Extension

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Ohio Sports

BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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