Raiders need more disciplined Buchanon

Oakland Raiders cornerback Phillip Buchanon's second NFL season was humbling in many respects. He was primetime on some occasions and toast-time on others.

Buchanon, who enters his third season with the Oakland Raiders, made big plays last season but gave up about as many. Buchanon's big plays that he made were two interception returns for touchdowns. Those were the plays one might see on the 11 o'clock news but his gambling mentality also means that he is susceptible to giving up big plays.

The Raiders drafted Buchanon in the first round in 2002 but finished that season on injured reserve after playing in just six games when sustaining a thumb injury. Buchanon has never been shy about flaunting his flashiness. Last season, Buchanon arrived at training camp in a limo with a Playboy medallion around his neck. He later referred to himself as "PB style" and "Showtime."

"I thought college football was really easy," Buchanon said. "It's a different level now. You have better quarterbacks and receivers. The whole terminology is better."

Depending on who you talk to, Buchanon appears to be curbing his style of play just a little bit.

"As a defensive back, you're the last line of defense," First-year head coach Norv Turner said. "Phil has had a great camp. He has been safe and smart. He's been in great position and has the ability to make big plays."

The Raiders are going to employ more 3-4 looks to go along with the 4-3. If Buchanon is to improve as a player, he will have to be more judicious about going after the big play.

"My role is to make plays that come to me and not move out of the scheme," Buchanon said. "It's just me being me. I like to make plays. That just comes with the game of football. I don't really see myself trying to change anything. I'm just trying to be in position to make plays."

"That's the game of football," Buchanon said. "That's the way I play. You win some and lose some but I'm going to try to stay inside the scheme."


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