Buchanan's acquisition not secondary

The Oakland Raiders biggest, literally and figuratively, offseason moves on the defensive side have centered 300-plus pound tackles Warren Sapp and Ted Washington. Cornerback turned safety Ray Buchanan's acquisition, however, would be crucial as well.

For starters, there is a lot of uncertainty over Rod Woodson's status. Woodson hopes to come back for an 18th NFL season after his most recent knee surgery. Woodson, who was one of 13 Oakland Raiders to finish the season on injured reserve, says he feels fine but how he holds up once he plays remains to be seen.

Buchanan was a cornerback in his last seven seasons as an Atlanta Falcon. He was a Pro Bowler in 1998, the year the Falcons reached the Super Bowl, but he was a safety in college and in the early part of his career in Indianapolis. Buchanan has tallied 46 career interceptions.

"The biggest difference is that I don't have to cover those speed demons," Buchanan said of moving to safety. "Other than that, it's relatively easy. I have to be able to cover downfield."

Buchanan's presence could loom large as a safety net for another Woodson – Charles. The Raiders have tabbed him the franchise player but goodness knows if his contract dispute gets uglier. In that case, Buchanan could fit in at corner as well.

"I'm just doing what is best for the team," Buchanan said. "I'm learning a lot from Rod (Woodson). If you get a front like we got, you can get a lot of heat on the quarterback and get a lot of turnovers."

Speaking of which, the addition of Sapp and Washington played into Buchanan's interest in coming to Oakland after the Falcons released him.

"I was looking for the team with the best defensive fronts," Buchanan said.

Atlanta, his former, team is on the schedule as the two teams meet December 12, in Atlanta.

"I've already X-ed that game," Buchanan said. "I have seven great years there. When you have a losing season, there will be changes. The guys I was mad at are gone now."

Buchanan was referring to deposed head coach Dan Reeves and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Jim Mora Jr. is the new head coach.


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