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Vontaze Burfict: 'I have to change' my style of play

Vontaze Burfict knows his style of play needs to change.

The Cincinnati Bengals linebacker is suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season, following multiple violations of the player-safety policy. The latest incident came in the AFC Wild Card round on a high hit to the head that resulted in a concussion to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

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Burfict told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Monday that he understands his style of play must change.

"Like I told coach (Marvin Lewis), I wish I could take that play back because I probably would've hit him low," Burfict said. "I don't like hitting low, but I have to change because it's getting flags because I hit him high or hit him in the helmet, and it's so hard to determine where to hit the offender because they're gonna tuck their body, and you have to pretty much tuck with them."

Added Burfict: "I tried to pull up at the last second, but it was obviously too late -- it's a bang-bang play."

The 25-year-old believes refs are singling him out due to his reputation.

"I play hard. Sometimes it gets me in trouble," he said. "My style of play is aggressive, and (the game has) changed, and I have to change with it, and that play right there, I think if I wasn't number 55, I wouldn't have got flagged."

That reputation Burfict believes he's being picked on for was built on multiple infractions of the player-safety policy, including being fined for twisting the ankles of both Cam Newton and Greg Olsen after the play in 2014. Burfict entered the NFL with red flags that dropped an early-round talent completely out of the draft in 2012.

Perhaps after multiple fines and suspensions, the lessons will finally stick.

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