LB Miles Burris. Photo courtesy of San Diego State University
Q: Were the Raiders a team that you knew were on to you? Did you come make a visit up here? And did you talk to them at the Combine, that sort of thing?
Burris: I talked to them at the Combine and I did know that they expressed interest in me and I am just very excited to be a Raider.
Q: You are from pretty close by, did you root for or at least follow this team growing up?
Burris: Yeah, I definitely did, about 25 minutes east of Sacramento in a town called Granite Bay, you know it is about a two hour shot to Oakland and I have been to a few games growing up and it is just going to be amazing to be able to play on that field and wear a Raider uniform.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a player?
Burris: I am a very versatile player and I pride myself on being tough and playing through every game and practice no matter how I feel and what is going on with my body, but I am an explosive and powerful player and I just love the game. I love the violence of it and I just love to go out there and compete.
Q: I'm not sure what sort of defensive scheme you guys ran over there at San Diego State, but did you play traditional weak side or strong side?
Burris: We ran a 3-3-5 defense. A pretty original defense, Rocky Long, our head coach was actually kind of the creator of it, and it is kind of a linebackers dream. I played right outside linebacker. There is three linebacker positions, there is right outside, one left outside, which are interchangeable and one mike. But I was able to line up all over the field, blitz off the edge, line up on the tight ends, line up outside the box, inside the box, blitz from the inside, play Tampa-2 coverage. So I got to do a little bit of everything and I think that is what helped work for me in this draft.
Q: How have the Raiders said they want to use you out here?
Burris: I think it is going to start off as an outside linebacker, but they have told me that I am very versatile and that I will move around if I need to. I am just eager to help wherever they need me and if that is special teams too, I love to play special teams and I just want to contribute to this organization and I am just very excited to be a Raider.
Q: Who did you talk to today when they called?
Burris: I talked to a lot of people. I talked to the head coach, the defensive coordinator, Tom Jones in operations, public relations, so I haven't been off the phone since they called me and drafted me, and then they sent me over to you guys.
Q: You have some success blitzing in college. What do you like about rushing the quarterback?
Burris: I like it a lot. A lot of the time it's a one-on-one situation, it's you versus another guy, and you've got to go beat him to get to the quarterback. It's just a fun deal, especially when you get that sack and you make a big momentum play that can help your defense out is a great feeling.
Q: Where did you take the phone call? Are you in San Diego now, are you in Granite Bay?
Burris: I'm in Granite Bay.
Q: With your family sitting there watching the thing? How did you pass the time?
Burris: Yeah. I put it on speaker phone and they could hear the whole thing and they're really excited. They're so excited for me, and they can come to the games. I even had to move out of the other room. They were starting to get a little loud, and it's hard to hear.
Q: Who do you emulate in your NFL game?
Burris: I've heard a lot of comparisons with different players, a little Clay Matthews, just because of the position that I played in college. I don't try to emulate anybody on the field. There's things that, from a mental standpoint, that I like about Clay Matthews and Brian Urlacher. They bring the same intensity to every play and that's something that I try to do on the field, just play as hard as I can every play, and that's when good things happen.
Q: During this process what was the one thing you tried to show scouts? What was the thing you thought you had to prove the most?
Burris: Just that I'm a versatile enough player to play any linebacker spot.
Q: Reggie McKenzie's been pretty adamant about wanting guys that don't just like to play football, that just love it, that it's their passion, it's everything they want to do. Does that sum you up?
Burris: Yes, absolutely. I've been playing since I was in fifth grade and immediately the first day after practice I knew I wanted to play in the NFL. It's just a dream come true to be here in this point right now. I know I have a whole lot of work to do right now to get on that field and to make a difference and that's all I want to do. I want to win games.
Q: Has Kirk Morrison still hung around the program? Do you know him at all?
Burris: Yeah, he came to a couple days of our summer camp this year, this past year before the season. It was good to talk to him a little bit and see that he's still a loyal Aztec. He's an Aztec for life, and he cares about our program. I wish nothing but the best for him, and he's obviously a gifted linebacker.
Q: I read that you did a standing back flip at your Pro Day, what was behind that?
Burris: I ended up finishing my three-cone drill and it just kind of felt good and the crowd cheered. It was just kind of a spur-of-the-moment, spontaneous thing, and I just pulled off a back flip.
Q: So we should expect that for your first special teams touchdown here?
Burris: Yeah, let's hope so.