After Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the remainder of the regular season for a hemet-to-helmet hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said the punishment was excessive and Burfict’s agent said his client had been singled out by the league.
No arguments in favor of a reduced penalty found a friendly ear in appeals officer Derrick Brooks. Brooks upheld the suspension after a hearing last week and Raiders defensive coordinator shared his thoughts on that development during a media session on Thursday.
“I think it was a witch hunt from the beginning,” Guenther said, via Myles Simmons of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Guenther said neither the Raiders nor Burfict knew that one infraction would trigger a season-long ban. That may be the case, but both player and team should have known that any infraction — the league reportedly presented evidence of more than one in the appeal hearing — would be dealt with harshly given Burfict’s disciplinary history.
The Raiders rolled the dice that Burfict would avoid further hot water despite that history and it turned out to be a losing bet.