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Former Raiders LB Miles Burris has new passion for acting

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Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The life of an NFL athlete can always become quite difficult, especially when one takes into account that many spend their entire lives to get to the NFL but can only stick for a few seasons if they’re lucky.

So what does an NFL player do when his career is over in a flash?

Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Miles Burris spent three seasons donning the Silver and Black and played in 38 games tallying 142 tackles before a slew of injuries inhibited him from returning to the level of play he thought he was capable of.

The sudden transition away from football provided Burris with some anxiety.

“My biggest fear leaving football was that I’d never have a passion like that again vocationally, and acting kind of rescued that,” Burris said via

After Burris came to the realization his career was over, his wife let him pout on the couch for one day before forcing him to move on to find a new passion.

And that new passion was acting.

“[My wife] took headshots of me with her iPhone, which is hilarious,” Burris said via “We got set up on this self-submission site for acting, and it was just like this super fluke thing where this great role came that I submitted on and got in on with no representation. It was my very first audition and I booked a guest star on this big budget pilot, and got a real taste of what it was like to act.”

But the new craft didn’t come seamlessly. Burris had to figure out how to practice acting.

“[Practicing] was something that was hard for me to figure out in the beginning,” Burris stated. “I would watch a lot of actors and see how they were training. How do you kind of hit the gym every day, so to speak? In football it’s easy because you hit the field and do your positional work, speed work, you get in the film room and study your opponents. That’s all easy and very measurable every day, and for acting it’s like what do I do other than go on auditions and wait for my next acting class? I kind of schedule my days down to the half hour, so I’ll break down a different scene off the internet, or break down different monologues and put myself on tape to try and continue to practice.”

Burris’s new schedule seems to be paying dividends. The new actor has already landed a few television appearances. He appeared in CBS’s ER drama Code Black on Wednesday night and will be on TV Land’s sitcom Teachers later this month.

If Burris plays his cards right, he could join a long list of former Raiders that became actors like Nnamdi Asomugha, Fred Williamson, John Matuszak, Howie Long and Carl Weathers.