So much for the Oakland Raiders deferring to experience to replace injured starting left cornerback Charles Woodson.
Phillip Buchanon, whom Oakland selected with the 17th overall pick from Miami (Fla.) in April's draft, gets the call to start Sunday's home game against Tennessee over eighth-year veteran Terrence Shaw. Oakland head coach Bill Callahan made that decision official on Wednesday.
Woodson, a four-time Pro Bowler, is out up to six weeks with a fractured shoulder he sustained in the Raiders 30-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Shaw appeared to be the safer choice because of his experience. Buchanon, however, makes sense because he has been playing the nickel back position and is viewed a potential shutdown corner in the Woodson mold. Shaw had been the dime back and will slide into Buchanon's spot at nickel. Anthony Dorsett, who started at free safety the last two seasons before being replaced by Rod Woodson, appears to be the logical choice as the dime back.
Buchanon has also been the team's primary punt returner, averaging 9.8 yards per return. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder is certain to get tested immediately.
"I've been preparing the same way,'' Buchanon said. "Everybody is going to trust me to do my job, and I'll do the best I can.''
The Raiders choice to start Buchanon, however, should not be a complete surprise.
"That's why we drafted him, because he is a cover corner and he has athletic ability," Callahan said. "He is a weapon on the field who can produce a big play on the field at any time."