Monessen native now scouting for Redskins
Six days ago, he was hired to serve as the Washington Redskins' Northeast Region college scout.
He had spent the past three years with the Cleveland Browns after four years with the BLESTO scouting combine which takes in 13 NFL teams.
Burns was hired Wednesday following a telephone conversation with controversial Redskins' owner Dan Snyder.
'It was the second time I landed a job without an interview,' grinned Burns.
The first time was with the expansion Browns who came back to the NFL in 1999 after three years out.
'I was the third person hired by the Browns before their owner took over,' recalled Burns. 'I was recommended by George Young (now the NFL senior vice president of football operations). Joe Mack (director of player personnel) and Phil Neri (college scouting director) were the two ahead of me.'
Burns, who lives near Syracuse, N.Y., almost ended up with the Arizona Cardinals.
'I have a lot of respect for Rod Graves (the assistant to Cardinals' president Bill Bidwell,' he explained. 'He said they may have a job for me but I didn't want to sit around and wait.'
Even though he'll be making more money with the Redskins, his territory has been trimmed.
'With the Browns. I had the Big 10, the Big East, Virginia and Maryland of the ACC and Tennessee and Kentucky of the Southeast Conference,' he claimed. 'With the Redskins, I'll have the Big East and smaller schools like Montclair State and the PSAC including California University.'
Burns expects to keep close tabs of Wes Cates, the Vulcans' highly-regarded running back who's already run for over a school record 3,000 yards.
Burns is looking forward to being with the Redskins.
'They're a solid organization and it will be exciting working with Marty Schottenheimer as their new coach.'
Burns will also be reunited with first-year Redskins assistants Jerry Homes and Tony Sperano, who previously were on Chris Palmer's staff at Cleveland.
Incidentally, Burns won't be the only new face with the Redskins.
Over the weekend, the Redskins named Tag Ribary director of pro personnel and Scott Campbell director of college scouting.
Ribary spent the past 11 years with Seattle with Campbell coming over after a year in Chicago following stints with Kansas City when Schottenheimer coached there and with Atlanta when his father, Marion, was the Falcons' head coach.
Despite his age, 61, Burns has no thoughts of retiring soon.
'It's not a job for me,' he said. 'It's a passion. As long as my health stands up, I'll be in scouting.'