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Old 06-08-2006   #1
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Default Chronic: Texans' CB tries to make most of second chance

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3949041.html

Quote:
Buchanon tackles opportunity
Texans CB tries to make the most of second chance


By MEGAN MANFULL
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

The first time Gary Kubiak saw cornerback Phillip Buchanon this offseason, they were walking through the tunnels in Reliant Stadium. As they stopped to talk, Buchanon steered the conversation toward his most memorable play of last season — the one he didn't make.

Buchanon was sure Kubiak already had heard about the infamous time he missed a tackle against the Pittsburgh Steelers and gave up a big play to Willie Parker. It was after that game — just the second of the season — that Buchanon was demoted and criticized for not being a good tackler.

"I had no idea," Kubiak said. "I hadn't seen the play or talked about it."


Eventually Kubiak and defensive coordinator Richard Smith heard about Buchanon's struggles in 2005. They heard of his problems tackling, and Smith called Buchanon in for a one-on-one meeting.

"There are some things I had heard about Phillip's past a year ago that weren't too positive," Smith said. "I explained to him that this is a new coaching staff, and we start from scratch from day one."

It was just the message Buchanon needed to hear after a tumultuous season.

"They blamed me for not tackling, but I was just trying to make a play and it ended up looking like I didn't want to tackle," said Buchanon, who was acquired by the Texans in a trade with Oakland for second- and third-round picks in 2005. "I talked to a lot of guys who play my position, and they told me to stay calm and do what you do. Things happen, and I just look forward to bigger and better things."

After almost every practice this offseason, Buchanon has remained on the field with assistant defensive backs coach Martin Bayless. As the rest of the team escapes the heat, Buchanon hits a dummy over and over.

Smith has emphasized with the defensive unit that everyone will cover and everyone will tackle. He has been impressed with Buchanon's speed, athletic ability and cover skills. He now wants to make sure there are no more questions about Buchanon's tackling abilities when the season starts.

"Players will do what you emphasize them to do," Smith said. "Let's not assume we've got it fixed. Let's make sure we've got it fixed because that's what they pay you as a coach to do."

Buchanon insists he has no problems tackling, but he is not complaining about the extra work. His focus is on trying to earn back his starting job. He is currently slated as the nickel back, with Dunta Robinson and Demarcus Faggins starting.

Buchanon's coaches aren't the only ones impressed with how much of an improvement he has made this offseason.

"I think he looks more comfortable," Robinson said. "I think he's more comfortable with the players. The coaches have a lot of confidence in him, so I think that makes him more comfortable.

"Last year, he wasn't the same player he was in Oakland. It all has to do with being comfortable with the system. He's been talking about how good he feels about this system, and you can see it out on the field. His play is a lot different. He's making plays."

That's what bothered Buchanon the most last year. He wasn't making plays. He prided himself on that during his three seasons with Oakland. He scored four touchdowns off interception returns with the Raiders and returned three punts for touchdowns.

He has yet to reach the end zone as a Texan.

"My thing is, I like making plays," Buchanon said. "I like when people see me and say, 'Hey, that's Buchanon. He makes plays.'

"Last year, it was a long year without me making any plays. Last year was just a real down year, a real bad year for the team and individually."

Buchanon may have more opportunities than ever to make those plays this year. He is pegged as one of the Texans' top three corners, their primary punt returner and possibly their kickoff returner since Jerome Mathis is out with an injury.

"Phillip's a very talented young man," Kubiak said. "He can help this football team big-time as a corner, and he can be one of the best returners in football. We're asking more out of him than we got last year, and he's giving it to us every day."
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Old 06-08-2006   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans34Life
The common thread in all of these uplifting statements from people we have thrown on the trash heap is Kubiak and his coaches. They look at Caper's trash heap and they are going OMG what a diamond in the ruff. Whe simply need to transform this gem into a player. You can say this of Carr, PBuc, Wand, Peek, Babin, even perhapes Mario. The name of the game in the NFL is coaching. I don't know how long we will be able to retain this coaching staff, but enjoy the ride while it lasts. You aren't going to see something like this very often in your life time. This is going to be an amazing year.
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Old 06-08-2006   #3
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Originally Posted by Ibar_Harry
The common thread in all of these uplifting statements from people we have thrown on the trash heap is Kubiak and his coaches. They look at Caper's trash heap and they are going OMG what a diamond in the ruff. Whe simply need to transform this gem into a player. You can say this of Carr, PBuc, Wand, Peek, Babin, even perhapes Mario. The name of the game in the NFL is coaching. I don't know how long we will be able to retain this coaching staff, but enjoy the ride while it lasts. You aren't going to see something like this very often in your life time. This is going to be an amazing year.
If we can put together a string of solid of winning seasons I hope Kubiak sticks with us like Cowher has with Pittsburgh.
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Old 06-08-2006   #4
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Originally Posted by texan279
If we can put together a string of solid of winning seasons I hope Kubiak sticks with us like Cowher has with Pittsburgh.
The head coach is obviously important, but it's his staff that he put together this year that could be even more important. Mike Sherman won't be an assistant for much longer I'm sure. And do we still have our old D-backs coach. I think he was offered to stay on here, but then offered a higher position job elsewhere. If he's still here, he won't be for much longer too. Quality assistants move on all the time.
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Old 06-08-2006   #5
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Originally Posted by texan279
If we can put together a string of solid of winning seasons I hope Kubiak sticks with us like Cowher has with Pittsburgh.
If we put together winning seasons Kubiak will have no reason to leave - it might cost us a bit more for his salary! As native of Houston he'll want to turn his home town team into a dynasty. Regular winning visits to the SB, regulars in the Play Offs and team to be feared EVERY season.
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Old 06-08-2006   #6
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Good article. Mea Culpas are a step onto the road to recovery. We need PBuch this year.
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Old 06-08-2006   #7
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I think Pbuc can turn it around. He is still young, athletic, quick and smart. I am looking forward to watching Pbuc this year.

This is the way that I see it. Drob is a hitter but gives up the big play. Pbuc is a play maker but gives up the big play. The only CB we have ever had that was a solid cover corner was Glenn and we let him go north. What we need is a pair of solid safeties so our two corners can take there chances and do there thing.

One more thing, how come we always talk about the wiff and never the game winning pass defense against cleveland?
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Old 06-08-2006   #8
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I think all of us posters could learn something from Kubiak and his staff's attitude of starting everyone with a blank slate and see where it goes from here. After all, "bad coaching" wasn't just a platitude to describe last year, it affected many players in many different ways.
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Old 06-08-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEXANRED
One more thing, how come we always talk about the wiff and never the game winning pass defense against cleveland?
If we did talk about it, we would say he was beat, the pass was underthrown and he got lucky.
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Old 06-08-2006   #10
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i wish p buc all the best under the new scheme, and i have have nothing but hopes that he becomes that shut down corner that he was drafted to be.
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Old 06-08-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEXANRED
This is the way that I see it. Drob is a hitter but gives up the big play. Pbuc is a play maker but gives up the big play. The only CB we have ever had that was a solid cover corner was Glenn and we let him go north. What we need is a pair of solid safeties so our two corners can take there chances and do there thing.
i second that statement,that i too hope that both earl and CC become solid safeties during the season so that our corners can take risks and make plays
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Old 06-08-2006   #12
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Originally Posted by wicked_wayz
i wish p buc all the best under the new scheme, and i have have nothing but hopes that he becomes that shut down corner that he was drafted to be.
That would certainly make us a better team.

I get the feeling some people want to see this guy (and other favorite Texans whipping boys) fail so they don't have to say something like:

"He is better than I thought"

which is uncomfortably close to

"I was wrong".
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Old 06-08-2006   #13
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If a player doesn't perform as well as hoped, it is for one of two reasons:

1. He is playing the best he can, but is simply a marginal player. Maybe better suited to be a backup. (Glen Earl, CC Brown, Victor Riley)

2. He isn't playing up to his ability due to poor coaching, poor work habits, or both. (Jason Babin, Seth Wand, Travis Johnson)

Buchanon is in the second group. He has all the ability in the world and if someone can get him to play like it, we will have a very good CB on our hands.
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Old 06-08-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEXANRED
I think Pbuc can turn it around. He is still young, athletic, quick and smart. I am looking forward to watching Pbuc this year.
I dunno.....don't want to be a pessimist, but P-Burnt had a brand new, fresh
start last year with new coaches, new team, new system and he cra##ed all
over the field the very second game of the season. Now he's had the off season to fabricate some yarn about how he was just trying to make a play
on his infamoust nontackle on the Pitt RB. I would have rather heard him take
responsibility for his pathetic moment.
As it is, he may be the second biggest beneficiary after Seth Wand of this new regime: lets see if he can take advantage of his second chance in two
consecutive years with the Texans. It may be his last chance in the NFL to do so.
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Old 06-08-2006   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
I dunno.....don't want to be a pessimist, but P-Burnt had a brand new, fresh
start last year with new coaches, new team, new system and he cra##ed all
over the field the very second game of the season. Now he's had the off season to fabricate some yarn about how he was just trying to make a play
on his infamoust nontackle on the Pitt RB. I would have rather heard him take
responsibility for his pathetic moment.
As it is, he may be the second biggest beneficiary after Seth Wand of this new regime: lets see if he can take advantage of his second chance in two
consecutive years with the Texans. It may be his last chance in the NFL to do so.
Vic Fangio
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Old 06-08-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
As it is, he may be the second biggest beneficiary after Seth Wand of this new regime
Probably true. Since the coaches haven't been shy about letting go of the players who they don't think measure up, let's hope the they are good talent evaluators and are accurately predicting how the new systems will affect current players.

For instance, has anyone every studied how well P-Buc covers for 3-5 seconds vs. the 5-7 seconds that was required last year due to lack of pass rush? ( I don't know the real number of seconds, I'm just throwing those out as illustrations). Or do we all just remember the ole and leave it at that?

For Wand's case, does everyone remember just the 12 sacks in 2004, none of which the board ever attributed to the RB or QB as we are so quick to do now? Do we consider the lack of penalties or the fact that he was arguably the best run blocker the Texans have ever had?

I think the coaches are looking at all facets of play, not just the ones we beat into the ground here. I think this goes for all the players - Carr, Dre, Dunta, Joppru, McKinney, Mario - everybody. I think the coaches are developing a true picture of skills and will leverage what we have. Call me an optimist.
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Old 06-08-2006   #17
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i was excited about the trade, when we got him, but had to hate him during the season, but now im excited again

best of luck to him this season
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Old 06-08-2006   #18
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I have one question for all of you.

Did we . . . or did we not . . . get an effective pass rush on the opposing QB last year? Yes or no?

The answer should be obvious to anyone who watched or listened to any of the games last year. So therefore, it should be obvious why PBuch sucked, or DRob sucked, ot the safeties sucked.

If the front 7 sucks, then the secondary will suck. There's never been a case in NFL history where a secondary played well if the guys up front couldn't get pressure. NEVER!

So this jive about . . .
Quote:
What we need is a pair of solid safeties so our two corners can take there chances and do there thing.

I second that statement,that i too hope that both earl and CC become solid safeties during the season so that our corners can take risks and make plays
. . . our safeties needing to play better, so our corners can play better is . . . silly putty.

Our safeties, and our corners, will play better if, if, . if . .

Let's see now. What was the area of the team that had the most attention this offseason? We'll see how it plays out.
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Old 06-08-2006   #19
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[quote=Marcus]If the front 7 sucks, then the secondary will suck. There's never been a case in NFL history where a secondary played well if the guys up front couldn't get pressure. NEVER!QUOTE]

yeah i got to agree with that, even KB said it himself that the Dline was the key in improving our secondary. thanks for clearing it up. but yeah you are right we can only find out when the season starts
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Old 06-08-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
I have one question for all of you.

Did we . . . or did we not . . . get an effective pass rush on the opposing QB last year? Yes or no?

The answer should be obvious to anyone who watched or listened to any of the games last year. So therefore, it should be obvious why PBuch sucked, or DRob sucked, ot the safeties sucked.

If the front 7 sucks, then the secondary will suck. There's never been a case in NFL history where a secondary played well if the guys up front couldn't get pressure. NEVER!

So this jive about . . .

. . . our safeties needing to play better, so our corners can play better is . . . silly putty.

Our safeties, and our corners, will play better if, if, . if . .

Let's see now. What was the area of the team that had the most attention this offseason? We'll see how it plays out.
Man, theres a whole lot of suckin going on!

No we didnt have a pass rush. However, when Drob or Pbuc or Faggins made a move on the ball and failed not once did I see safety help. What I did see a whole lot of was our safeties playing shallow and stopping the run or defending the short to indermediate routes leaving our corners exposed to the deep pass. How many times last year did we see Coleman tailing the play?

Instinct counts for alot when playing the safety position. You only have a second to see what the running back, TE, and receivers are doing when the formations break. We gave up alot of deep balls last year.
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