Longtime Raiders fans might recall a Bruce Davis from the 80’s who wore the silver and black. That Bruce Davis played offensive tackle for 11 years from 1979 to 1989, after being drafted in the 11th round (294th overall) from UCLA by Oakland.
The Raiders signed another Bruce Davis on Tuesday, who at the time was on the San Francisco 49er’s practice squad. This Bruce Davis is a ‘hybrid’ linebacker in his third year as a pro, after an illustrious career as a defensive end for UCLA. He’s also the son of that former Raider with the same name.
Davis, the junior, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round (88th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft after compiling 50 games, 29 sacks, 137 tackles, 16 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, and five quarterback hurries. As with nearly all college players, most of his stats (26 games, 24.5 sacks, 81 tackles, 12 passes defensed, 5 forced fumbles, three QB hurries) came in his final two years at UCLA.
Needless to say, Davis is happy to be on a roster rather than a practice squad. “When [the Raiders] called, I was ready to go. Plain and simple,” said Davis of his promotion.
While he’s happy he was signed by the Raiders, he was gracious for the opportunity afforded him by the Niners. “They have a great organization,” Davis told reporters of the 49ers. “A lot of those guys over there, they got some great guys, some great coaches over there. I enjoyed being there, but at the end of the day I want to be out there on the football field playing in the game.”
That chance may come sooner rather than later on the Raiders. The Silver and Black released DT Jay Alford to make room on the roster, and with injuries to Quentin Groves (hamstring) and Thomas Howard (knee), Oakland has already moved defensive end Trevor Scott back to weak side linebacker.
Head coach Tom Cable, who was the offensive coordinator at UCLA for Davis’ first two years, said that the young linebacker fits in the mold of several of his current defenders. “He kind of fits our mold,” said Cable of Davis. “Kamerion’s a backer then a rusher. Trevor’s a backer then a rusher. So you kind of have the same thing here. Quentin Groves, same thing. He’s a backer then he’s a rusher. I think that hybrid type guy just adds another one to that group.”
Another group that Davis joined with his signing is the group of former and current Raiders — one that his father has belonged to since before he was born. “I’m glad to be here, definitely,” said Davis about becoming a Raider. “I have a little family history here. It’s good to be here. It’s definitely when I talked to my family, my dad speaks about this place with a lot of pride. I know he’s happy that I’m here and I’m happy to be part of the family now too.”
If Davis can do some of the things he did at UCLA, Raider Nation will happily welcome him into the family as well.