Oakland Raiders Need to Make Some Changes

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Oct 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Stepfan Taylor (30) is defended by Oakland Raiders linebacker Miles Burris (56) on a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

He has no instincts, does’t tackle well and doesn’t cover well but otherwise, Miles Burris is a great middle linebacker. This really has me wondering about defensive coordinator Jason Tarver because all he does is sell Burris in the media. Former Raider Rolando McClain was right to be angry when Tarver put Burris out there in his place on third downs in 2012.

Burris is no Thomas Howard, he was worse than McClain in coverage as had the worst burn rate of all linebackers in the NFL. He also led the league in missed tackles that year so it looks a lot like Tarver was just trying to find a way to get Burris on the field. I don’t condone McClain’s tantrum back then but I can understand how he felt getting replaced on third down by the NFL’s worst coverage linebacker.

Two years later, there Tarver is again with Burris, doing everything in his power to get whiskey out of a bottle of wine. Then after Sio Moore was excellent as a rookie to replace him at outside linebacker, Tarver had Burris in front of him to start the season. But Moore would have none of that, balled out and beat Burris out so Burris was moved to middle linebacker to replace Nick Roach after his concussion problems.

Burris still gets beat in coverage and misses tackles but it’s worse now because he’s learning on the job how to play middle linebacker. You can’t learn on the job how to be a middle linebacker any more than you can learn on the job how to play quarterback. And it shows as the Raiders are ranked No. 29 in the NFL against the run so far this season so the Raiders need to replace him.