July 22, 2003 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Norfolk Nighthawks
NORFOLK -- Nighthawks' OS Travis Burns does not pay attention to numbers. Though the rest of the af2 is amazed by his 3,033 all-purpose yards (25 rushing, 1,425 receiving and 1,583 in returns something only four other players in the af2's history have accomplished), this mild-mannered graduate of Liberty University doesn't give the stats a second thought.
"Chris Vigneault, our trainer, before the game tells me how many yards I need," said Burns. "I don't really keep up with it."
Burns sees the numbers as just something that happens through hard work on the field. He knows that if he were to get caught up in how many catches he gets or yards he generates, then his performance might suffer. Because then he would be focusing on his personal performance and not on the ultimate goal of a Nighthawks win.
"I just try to have a good game out on the field," said Burns. "I just try to block all of that out."
Blocking is something that Travis does not do too often, as he is the main return man for the Nighthawks' special teams. During any given game, Burns has the potential to break the play open with a return straight down the sidelines.
"Coach Deatrich Wise always tells me to concentrate on the ball off the net," said Burns. "Once I catch the ball, I know that my teammates are going to block for me and then I know that it's up to me to make the play."
Making the play has been a regular feat for Burns, as he broke his own scoring record that he set last season. In 2003 (so far) Travis Burns has scored 204 points (2 TDs from rushing, 2 from returns and 30 from receptions), which eclipses his old record of 164 points. Burns credits much of his success to his quarterbacks this season.
"(Aaron Sparrow and Chris Wallace) have both been in the AFL and they both have a lot of experience," said Burns. "Players don't often get to have the advantage of playing with two AFL quarterbacks on the same team. I have been learning a lot about the game from the both of them." Burns feels lucky to be on a team with such considerable talent. He sees himself as just one star of many.
"We have a lot of talent," said Burns. "We are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and I am happy that we are starting to come together as a team right before the playoffs."
With all of his success on the field and all of the accolades and recognition, one might suspect that Burns is ready to make the jump into the AFL or the NFL right away. But Travis has a few things that he would like to do as a member of the Norfolk Nighthawks before he would consider a move.
"I'm in the af2 to develop my skills and I would love to go to the AFL some day," said Burns. "But we need to win this last game and get into the playoffs. The Nighthawks have not been into the playoffs since the first season and I want to be a part of a championship run here."