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Giovani Bernard on Vontaze Burfict: He’s my buddy

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict needs to properly harness the edge that defines him if he wants to make Cincinnati a better team.

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict touched off a scuffle at Bengals camp on Tuesday when he hit running back Giovani Bernard in the legs and brought him to the ground during a drill that allowed for contact but not live tackling.

Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said the biggest problem was that the drill didn’t call for Burfict to make a tackle.

“We don’t want to take the backs to the ground and get somebody hurt,” Guenther said, via the team’s website. “When it’s a live drill we can do that. It’s a different story. We can’t do it on Sundays so we shouldn’t do it out here in my opinion. Yeah, I told him that. We’re on the same team.”

Bernard, who is recovering from a torn ACL, said there were no bad feelings as a result of the play.

“That’s my man,” Bernard said. “Tez is Tez. He’s going to play the way he plays. That’s my buddy. That’s my dude. It’s just early in camp getting some frustration out. That’s football.”

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis spoke to Burfict, who came out of the drill after the fracas, but didn’t reveal what he said while lamenting the practice time lost to “pushing and shoving.”