03-30-2005, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
HOWARD FOR BUCHANNON is it true?
first rounder fed upAssociated Press
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Cornerback Phillip Buchanon is so frustrated with the way the Oakland Raiders are operating that he wants to be traded.
Buchanon, the Raiders\' first-round draft pick in 2002 out of Miami, said he spoke with team personnel chief Michael Lombardi to express his desire to go elsewhere.
\"The way I am feeling about the Raiders, I am not happy,\" Buchanon said Wednesday. \"I am just not happy with the organization right now. I am looking forward to a possible trade with somebody else.\"
Both Lombardi and Buchanon\'s agent, Terry Williams, declined to comment after learning of Buchanon\'s statement, made four days before Oakland (5-10) ends another disappointing season at home Sunday against Jacksonville.
If Buchanon leaves, there\'s a possibility the Raiders will lose both starting cornerbacks this offseason.
Four-time Pro Bowler Charles Woodson, making nearly $9 million this season as Oakland\'s franchise player, could earn as much as $10.5 million next season if the Raiders kept the franchise tag on him -- an expensive move that seems unlikely, especially after his arrest last week for public intoxication.
Woodson has said for months he wants to be the highest paid cornerback in the league, a distinction currently held by Champ Bailey of Denver. Bailey signed a seven-year, $63 million contract with the Broncos last offseason that includes an $18 million signing bonus and $5 million in other bonuses.
Buchanon has 59 tackles -- 50 solo -- three interceptions, nine pass deflections and a fumble recovery this season, but has been consistently poor returning punts. Coach Norv Turner has stuck by him despite the struggles.
Buchanon refers to himself as \"Showtime,\" and arrived at training camp in 2003 as a second-year pro in a limousine and wearing a fancy pajama suit.
\"I mean there is a lot of stuff that goes on here and it ain\'t right,\" he said. \"I am not feeling too good here. I am not happy with the organization. Things ain\'t good right now. I know that.\"
NAPA, Calif. -- For two seasons Oakland Raiders cornerback Phillip Buchanon has teetered between brilliant and dreadful, often at the same time.
For every big play the former first-round pick made, there were a multitude of inexplicable mistakes balancing the scales.
Now as one of the senior members of Oakland\'s secondary despite entering just his third NFL season, Buchanon is trying to find a more consistent pattern to his play.
So far, it appears to be working.
Buchanon has received praise almost daily from teammates and coaches alike in Oakland\'s training camp, where the 5-foot-10, 185-pound cornerback has impressed onlookers with his work in practice.
That\'s an important sign for the Raiders, who will have at least one new starter in the secondary following the July 27 release of free safety Rod Woodson. Oakland\'s other starting cornerback, Charles Woodson, remains a training camp holdout while seeking a long-term contract from the club.
\"I think (Buchanon) is having a great camp,\" said Raiders head coach Norv Turner. \"There\'s really been one play where he\'s taken a shot in this camp and missed, a short throw to Jerry Rice. Other than that he\'s been in great position. He\'s got the ability to make big plays. He\'s just got to pick and choose his spots and the big plays will come to him.\"
That wasn\'t the case in previous seasons. In 2003, for example, Buchanon led Oakland with six interceptions including two returns for touchdowns. But he was also routinely beaten by opposing receivers who had a field day at the young defensive back\'s expense.
Buchanon scored the game-winning touchdown on an 83-yard interception return against Cincinnati on Sept. 14, but only after getting beaten in pass coverage 10 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Then there was the Nov. 23 game in Kansas City when, with the Raiders trailing by three midway through the fourth quarter, Buchanon fielded a punt near midfield and returned it to the Chiefs\' 26. After being pushed out of bounds near the Kansas City sideline, Buchanon ripped his helmet off and raced down the field, taunting the Chiefs\' players and fans.
Referees hit Buchanon with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and the team was forced to settle for a field goal that tied the game at 24. Buchanon also gave up a 16-yard completion on a fourth-down play later in the game that set up Kansas City\'s game-winning field goal.
Buchanon\'s antics in Kansas City led then-teammate Tim Brown to declare, \"That\'s Phillip. Phillip giveth and Phillip taketh away,\" a stigma that Buchanon found hard to shake.
His season hit rock bottom late in the year during a nationally televised game against Green Bay when Buchanon was beaten for 163 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and wound up being benched briefly in the third quarter.
Buchanon makes no apologies for what happened in 2003 but understands the need to become more selective in his thinking.
\"That\'s just the way I play. You win some, you lose some,\" said Buchanon. \"I\'m a player, a young guy, I\'m out of Miami, what do you expect? Believe me, I\'ve learned from it. My role is just to make more plays and make the plays that come to me and not try to go outside of the scheme, just do my job.\"
There\'s no questioning Buchanon\'s talent or skills. He has scored three touchdowns off interceptions and three more on punt returns. His six touchdowns on returns overall came in just 22 games, making Buchanon the fastest player to reach that plateau since 1970.
But his problems in coverage have skeptics waiting to pounce on Buchanon\'s every mistake. Buchanon understands the criticism but says he\'s learned from his errors.
\"If you want to be the best you have to break everything down and look back at what happened and make sure it doesn\'t happen again,\" said Buchanon. \"If I make the plays I\'m supposed to make, then I think we\'ll be fine.\"
This story is from ESPN.com\'s automated news wire. Wire index