For a total of 100 days, we'll take a look at the men who have played for the Raiders jersey number by jersey number. This series will highlight some of the greatest players in NFL history. In some cases, the player and jersey number are synonymous. In other cases, the jersey number represents sustained greatness at a particular position. Some players are superstitious about their jersey number. Whatever the case may be, jersey numbers are an important part of the fabric of professional football.
LB Jeff Barnes played for the Raiders from 1977-87. AP Photo.
Thirteen players have worn No. 56 in Raiders history, including the single-season sack leader in Raiders history, a two-time Super Bowl champ, and current linebacker
Arch Matsos – LB – 1963-65
Matsos joined the Raiders after three years with Buffalo. He played in 40 regular season games and recorded 9 interceptions for 141 yards. He went on to play for Denver and San Diego.
Chip Oliver – LB – 1968-69
The Raiders selected Oliver in the 11th round of the 1968 NFL Draft out of USC. He played in 28 games with 16 starts and recorded one interception for 29 yards and a TD, and two fumble recoveries.
Warren Koegel – LB – 1971
The Raiders selected Koegel in the 3rd round of the 1971 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He played in one game for the Raiders. Koegel went on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Jets.
Jeff Barnes – LB – 1977-87
The Raiders selected Barnes in the 5th round of the 1977 NFL Draft out of University of California, Berkeley. He played in 157 games with 13 starts and recorded 6.5 sacks (sacks became an official statistic in 1982), five interceptions for 30 yards and recovered eight fumbles. He was a member of the Raiders Super Bowl championship squads in 1980 and 1983.
Milt McColl – LB – 1988
McColl joined the Raiders after seven years with the 49ers. He played in 15 games for the Raiders in 1988.
Aundray Bruce – DE – 1992-94
Bruce joined the Raiders after four years with the Falcons. He played for the Raiders from 1992-98 and switched from No. 56 to No. 99 in 1995. In all, he played in 89 games with seven starts and recorded 16 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Pat Swilling – DE – 1995-96, 1998
Swilling joined the Raiders after seven years in New Orleans and two with Detroit. He played in 48 games with 32 starts and chalked up 21 sacks, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Swilling came back in 1998 after retiring after the ’96 season.
Sam Sword – LB – 1999
An undrafted free agent out of Michigan, Sword played in 10 games with five starts and tallied one sack and 16 solo tackles. He went on to play three years with the Indianapolis Colts.
Travian Smith – LB – 2002-04
The Raiders selected Smith in the 5th round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He wore No. 53 from 1998-2001 and No. 56 from 2002-04. He played in 84 games with 16 starts and recorded 8.5 sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries.
Derrick Burgess – DE – 2005-08
Burgess joined the Raiders after three years with the Eagles. He played in 56 games with 52 starts and recorded 38.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumbles recoveries. He set the Raiders single-season sack record with 16 QB takedowns in 2005.
David Nixon – LB – 2009
An undrafted free agent out of BYU, Nixon played in three games with the Raiders. He went on to play for Houston and St. Louis.
Darryl Blackstock – LB – 2011
Blackstock joined the Raiders after three years with Arizona, one with Cincinnati and one in the UFL. He played in 16 games with one start.
Miles Burris – LB -2012-present
The Raiders selected Burris in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of San Diego State. He has played in 38 games with 31 starts, and has recorded 1.5 sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery and 142 solo tackles.
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