"I hate Pittsburgh," said Burfict after Wednesday's practice, per TribLive.com's Ralph N. Paulk. "It's not personal. That's just the way it is."
A little bit of bad blood isn't necessarily a negative if it doesn't boil over on the gridiron and is in good competitive spirit. But that may not be what Burfict is going for in articulating his feelings toward a team he's gearing up to play against for a third time this season.
Prior to kickoff in the teams' last meeting in Week 14, a scuffle broke out, partially because of now-deleted tweets Pittsburgh linebacker Vince Williams directed at Burfict before the game.
Also adding fuel to the fire for the Cincinnati star and his side is the fact the Bengals have been one-and-done in each of the past four postseasons. They haven't notched a single playoff win under coach Marvin Lewis.
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Following the aforementioned altercation before Week 14, Cincinnati lost quarterback Andy Dalton to a thumb injury amid a 33-20 loss. Dalton isn't healthy enough to suit up for this Saturday's playoff clash at Paul Brown Stadium, leaving AJ McCarron under center as he tries to help snap the Bengals' playoff skid.
The linebacker had better hope his unit holds up its end of the bargain, especially since his comments could be used as motivation by his opponent. Otherwise, it will be another bitter end to a strong Bengals season.