After the Blazers' 3-9 season, Callaway and his staff were shown the door. With Garrick McGee and defensive coordinator Reggie Johnson arriving, Burdette had to digest a whole new system, communicate to his teammates in an entirely new manner and help shepherd the younger players through the trauma of a coaching change.
Burdette says there is a little more to digest in Johnson's system.
"The mental aspect is more. He asks a lot more," Burdette said. "West is a great coach and I won't take anything for him, but he made things simple so you can play faster, but Coach Johnson, he wants to play with high intensity, and it's not going to be easy; it's going to be complex. You get to 'I know this, this is what's I've got to do,' and that allows you to play faster."
So far, the results have been mixed, at best. The Blazers yielded 126 points in a three-game stretch, getting roughed up for 566 total yards by Houston, 600 by East Carolina and 619 by Tulane. But that fell to 295 yards last week in a 27-19 win over Southern Mississippi.
The Blazers are another team who must cope with Marshall's "NASCAR" offensive attack, which has run fewer than 89 plays in just one game. Burdette, who compares the Herd offense to that of Houston with Case Keenum, could easily match his career-high 24 tackles.
Burdette is eager to go for that, but he also wants and to help make his younger teammates better. With three games left in his college career, he's certainly not going to let up.
"Right now, Coach Johnson and Coach McGee are telling us we're still playing for a lot," he said. "In the game of college football, it's not just football. Football prepares you for life and for everything. When you're an athlete in college, you have a better chance than other people when you come out because you're asked to perform at high levels.
"Right now, we're playing for our seniors. We're playing for the freshmen and you're playing for everybody. Even though the season didn't go the way you wanted to go, you're still trying to show the guys how to win, to get to that crossroads where you say, 'To heck with losing, it's time to win.'
"So we've still got a lot to play for."