Thursday, February 6, 2014
Trash talking not Morgan Burnett's way
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If you polled players in the Green Bay Packers' locker room and asked who the biggest trash talker is, safety Morgan Burnett likely wouldn't even garner a single vote.
That's what made it so surprising that Burnett's name was mentioned in an ESPN The Magazine story about Tony Gonzalez's retirement.
In a finely written piece by Seth Wickersham, there's a part of the story where Gonzalez said he decided to retire and not to come back to the Falcons next season after Burnett yelled “F--- you! You ain't s---” to Gonzalez and none of his Falcons teammates came to his defense.
Those words jump off the page.
What's more, they seemed completely out of character for Burnett, who is about as quiet and non-controversial as you will find in the NFL.
You could argue that if Burnett were more boisterous that he might have performed better last season, when he struggled at times after signing a four-year, $24.75 million contract last summer, but that's not the issue at this moment.
Nevertheless, it was no surprise to hear Burnett emphatically -- or as emphatically as the soft-spoken 25-year-old can be -- deny that he said anything to Gonzalez in the Dec. 8 game against the Falcons at Lambeau Field.
“I'm just a guy trying to make my way in the league and just trying to be the best player that I can be,” Burnett said in a phone interview Thursday night.
Burnett said he has been in Atlanta working out since the season ended. He was part of a safety group that failed to come up with a single interception last season. It's the first time the Packers have not gotten an interception from a safety in at least 50 years, according to the Packers' records.
“Just trying to improve each year,” he said. “I want to improve each year and find ways to get better and show that growth from this year past year going into the next year.”