Buchanon playing with more substance

Oakland Raiders cornerback Phillip Buchanon's self-proclaimed nickname is "Showtime." While he has made his share of highlights, he could also pass for "Toast-time" based on giving up big plays. Buchanon, however, appears to be placing emphasis on substance in addition to style.

In the Oakland Raiders 27-24 win over the Carolina Panthers, however, Buchanon had a rather humbling experience. Buchanon shared duty with Denard Walker and was on the sidelines in some of the nickel and dime packages. Buchanon, however, downplayed the notion that the experience served as a motivator.

"Sometimes things happen that you can't really control," Buchanon said. "I wasn't happy about it but it happens. The coaches do what they do and I play. I have motivation myself. You can look at it and say it could have been something like that but I was motivated before that even happened."

Even though Buchanon has appeared to be more focused in recent games, his personality does not have any less humility. Buchanon spoke with reports Thursday during the Raiders regular media access period.

"Mainly, I'm just doing what I do, and that's make plays because I was blessed with the ability and born with the ability to make plays and take it to the house," Buchanon said. "I see myself as probably one of the best playmakers to ever come into the league. I look forward to making some plays and being on ESPN this Sunday."

Buchanon has delivered his share of highlights in his three-year career since the Raiders drafted him in the first round of the 2002 draft out of the University of Miami. Buchanon has returned four interceptions and three punts for touchdowns.

Then again, he has given up more than his share of big plays and the demotion against Carolina took place.

Going into that contest, Buchanon had been constantly burned by receivers. Heck, even an aging Tim Brown outwitted him for a 16-yard touchdown when Tampa Bay came to Oakland, and Denver's Ashley Lelie torched him for a 31-yard scoring pass.

In a 42-14 loss to San Diego on Halloween, Buchanon was caught out of position all day. Since his demotion in Carolina, however, Buchanon has not given up a reception of note.

"The only way you're going to get better is by playing," Buchanon said. "If you're not playing you can't get better. Guys catch balls on you and you get touchdowns scored on you. That's part of the game, especially when you have the Peyton Manning rules."

Buchanon has also taken his share of jabs in the media, especially after arriving at training camp in 2003 in a limo with a Playboy medallion around his neck. Buchanon had also since nicknamed himself "Showtime" and "PB style."

"I'm just going to go out there and make plays," Buchanon said. "That's why the Raiders drafted me. It doesn't bother me. People are going to write what they want to right. People have their own stories. I could describe Showtime as every time a movie is on Showtime that doesn't mean the movie has to be good. Sometimes they have bad movies. Sometimes they have great movies."

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com

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