Bengals owner: We're lucky to have Vontaze Burfict

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict made his feelings about the Steelers clear in January, saying: "I hate Pittsburgh."

Steelers fans likely feel the same about Burfict, who was suspended without pay for the first three games of the regular season for repeated violations of safety-related playing rules -- including a vicious hit on Antonio Brown in January's insane wild-card tilt that left the Pittsburgh wideout with a concussion.

The Steelers won that playoff game, but Cincinnati's hard-hitting defense left a bitter taste with plenty of Pittsburgh players, including running back DeAngelo Williams, who said in April: "For me, my rival throughout my year will be the Cincinnati Bengals."

Understandably, Bengals owner Mike Brown sees Burfict and his teammates in a different light.

"I own the Bengals, not the Steelers," said Brown, per Geoff Hobson of the team's official website. "You can guess where I stand. But I won't comment."

Added Brown, per's Coley Harvey: "Vontaze Burfict is one hell of a football player. We want him on the football field. We regret that we won't have him for three games, but he'll be back after that. He's a difference maker, and we're lucky to have him."

They won't have him when the Bengals visit Pittsburgh in Week 2, but Burfict will be in uniform when these two teams go head-to-head in a Week 15 battle likely to be draped with playoff implications.

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