Buchanan more than a safety net

Much of the Oakland Raiders off season focus pertaining to players named Woodson have centered around Charles. Ray Buchanan, however, is being counted on heavily to replace Rod Woodson.

Throughout the off season, there was a lot of uncertainty over Rod Woodson's status. Woodson hoped 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, was released by the team just before the start of training camp after failing his physical.

"It's a totally different defense now," Buchanan said. "One thing is that Rod was always around the football. That's what I'm known for. Rod Woodson was one of the guys I looked up to. it's big shoes to fill but I got a different size."

The Raiders signed Buchanan, now a cornerback turned safety, as a safety net in case Woodson was not healthy enough to return. Buchanan, whom the Atlanta Falcons released, started his career as a safety and now says that those concept are coming back to him. Interestingly enough, Woodson took a similar path.

"Over the last couple of months, it has slowly but surely been coming back," Buchanan said. "The main thing is putting guys in the right position. I have to know what everybody is doing out there on the football field. quarterbacking that position has not been that much of a challenge but it came back to me real fast."

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.

"Now, I'm coming back home," Buchanan said. "This is the position that is actually made for me. I've got great awareness, great hands, I've got a great defense that's put together so I can make a lot of plays. the guys up front like a Ted Washington, Warren Sapp that can stop the run and create havoc. Our secondary should have a lot of tipped balls but it's going to take a lot of hard work."


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