Miles Burris, last year’s rookie sensation at MLB/ILB for the Oakland Raiders, has finally shown enough in practice to be brought up to the active roster. He was activated yesterday by the Raiders and will presumably see the field at some point in the next few weeks. To clear a roster spot, the Raiders waived Martez Wilson, signed after he was waived from the Saints. With all of the talent at linebacker this year, Burris can be eased back into play and ensure that his knee won’t be an issue again, giving the Raiders a tremendous problem of a very talented linebacker corps. Given the defensive woes from just a season ago, Burris’ return is welcome news for the Silver and Black.
The Raiders defense struggled mightily for most of the 2012 season, but Burris was one of the team’s few defensive bright spots. After allowing an average of an absurd 42.25 points per game against the Bucs, Ravens, Saints, and Bengals, Dennis Allen became more hands-on with the defense and moved some of his pieces around. Burris moved from OLB to ILB, replacing Rolando McClain once and for all, and the defense instantly improved. After the Bengals game, the Raiders allowed just 17.4 points per game, including a shutout of the Chiefs, and gave the team a bright future that they seem to have built off of for this season.
The Raiders were in position to win every game after the Bengals blowout, and if not for a horrendous offensive string of games that saw Carson Palmer, a raw Terrelle Pryor, and even Matt Leinart lining up under center, the Raiders could have had a better record than many expected last season. Burris was a tackling machine in his rookie season, recording at least seven tackles in nine of the Raiders’ games last season, and he should be in a great position to do even better this season. He should help a top-ten run defense become even better, and his quick instincts and ability to control the field should play nicely into Tarver’s complex blitzes and schemes. With the Raiders’ ability to rush the passer this season (the team already has three sacks more than it did in 2012), Burris’ strength of run defense and sniffing out plays should be on display. I am excited to see what he can bring to the Raiders.
— In other injury news, first-round draft pick DJ Hayden was added to injured reserve today. He had an up-and-down rookie season, but hopefully he can contribute next season. His roster spot was filled by activating DL Brian Sanford to the active roster.