After being selected out of the University of Miami with the No. 17 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2002 draft, cornerback Phillip Buchanon has had his share of ups and downs during his short career. From recording six interceptions in 2003 with Oakland to being traded to the Houston Texans in 2006 to joining the Bucs as a free agent last season.
To his critics, this is his last opportunity to make it in the NFL, but to Buchanon, it’s just another chance to be himself. He is excited to be a part of the Bucs defense and has the opportunity to create one of the deepest and talented secondaries in the league. Along with established cornerbacks Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly, Buchanon rounds out a Bucs secondary that will be looked at to make some plays this season.
“Right now for me I’m feeling good about the situation,” Buchanon said. “For me it’s just communicating with Brian, Ronde, [linebacker] Derrick Brooks and [linebacker] Cato June and just basically communicating with all my teammates. My main focus is just to focus on one play at a time and one game at a time. That’s what my new focus is and every year that I go into a season I always want to be the best at what I do. My goals never change and I still want to be the best corner, but at the same time I just need to do my part and do the things that I can control.”
Buchanon sat out most of practice this week with a wrist injury, but was seen running and working with defensive backs coach Raheem Morris on different drills during the Bucs walk-through on Thursday. Head coach Jon Gruden hinted that Buchanon could see some action on Saturday against the Miami Dolphins.
“He might [play],” Gruden said. “Again he has an issue he is recovering from and if he’s well enough to go, then he will go and if he’s not then the trainers will keep him out of the game.”
Buchanon was injured during a special teams play in the first half of a 31-19 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was blocking on a punt return and a Jaguars player swung around on a tackle and hit Buchanon in his wrist, knocking Buchanon’s glove off of his right hand. Buchanon has had a brace on the wrist this week and confirmed that there is still some swelling in the wrist.
Along with his duties at cornerback, Buchanon also saw some time during training camp at wide receiver. Gruden has tinkered with the idea of running some plays with Buchanon on offense. Buchanon has even sneaked his way on to the field during an offensive session without Gruden even noticing.
Buchanon just wants the ball in his hands and will do whatever he can to make that happen.
“I love playing on offense, actually let me rephrase that, I love touching the ball period,” Buchanon said. “Because when I was coming up when I was young, I was always an offensive player I was never a defensive player. I just recently turned into a defensive player when I went to Miami so for me I’ve always been an offensive minded player coming up at a young age. It’s just really exciting and I’m just trying to do the things that coach Gruden asked me to do. What ever they ask me to do, I’m trying to do and I just want to touch the ball and have fun.”
Safety Tanard Jackson, who had a mild hamstring injury against Jacksonville, sat out of practice all week leading up to the Miami game on Saturday, but hasn’t been ruled out of the game just yet. Gruden wasn’t sure if the rookie would see some game action against the Dolphins.
“He’s a question mark right now, but we don’t play until Saturday night,” Gruden said.
Jackson opened some eyes with his play against Jacksonville last Saturday night, particularly on a goal line stand after a turnover. Jackson was a part of all three plays inside the 5-yard line to keep the Jaguars out of the end zone and forcing a field goal. Jackson is battling for playing time at both safety and cornerback.
Guards Jeb Terry and Arron Sears will not play against Dolphins due to the ankle injuries they sustained within the last week.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Gruden on what he thinks about when he thinks of the Miami Dolphins
“When I think of the Dolphins I think of Don Shula, I think of 17-0 it’s got a great tradition. Obviously you think about the great defense they have had for the last I don’t know how long with Dave Wannstedt and those guys down there. They have the great Jason Taylor, Zack Thomas. They are tremendous players and great on defense. Cam Cameron comes in there to juice up the offense and I think he’s a great coach. Obviously they have some fire power now and a veteran quarterback to rely on. I’m sure the Dolphin fans are excited. They have added Ted Ginn Jr. who, no matter what people say, is fast as hell. Chris Chambers is one of the best receivers in the AFC. So they do have some talent, Ronnie Brown is a guy that we have great respect for and I think Lorenzo Booker is a real skilled back.”
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