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Bucs Bring Back Buchanon

After fitting in quickly with the Bucs’ defense last year, CB Phillip Buchanon signed with the club again on Friday after a brief stop on the open market


CB Phillip Buchanon fit in well with Ronde Barber and the Bucs' secondary after his midseason signing in 2006

In a move that bolsters the team's depth at cornerback for the 2007 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed unrestricted free agent cornerback Phillip Buchanon.

Buchanon, who joined the Bucs in mid-October of last season after beginning the season with the Houston Texans, performed well for Tampa Bay, playing in 10 games and starting four. Seeing increased playing time due to a nagging turf-toe injury that eventually sidelined starter Brian Kelly for the season, the former first-round pick made the most of his opportunity, fitting into the Bucs' Cover Two defense well.

Buchanon actually became a free agent on Friday when the new league year began, but he quickly returned to the Buccaneers.

In his first start for the Bucs against Atlanta last December 10, the speedy cornerback hauled in his first interception of the season, picking off quarterback Michael Vick in the end zone. Buchanon's second interception came two weeks later against the Cleveland Browns and quarterback Derek Anderson. He was also an active tackler, meshing well in Tampa's defensive scheme and recording a season-high eight stops in a start at Chicago.

In all, Buchanon finished the season ranked third on the team with two interceptions and recorded 28 tackles, one fumble recovery and seven passes defensed for the Buccaneers. He also recorded 14 punt returns for 95 yards and five kickoff returns for 106 yards during the 2006 season, much of it with the Texans.

Buchanon's career totals include 60 games played with 38 starts and 187 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 36 passes defensed and 13 interceptions, including four returned for touchdowns. He also has logged 98 punt returns for 986 yards and three touchdowns and seven kickoff returns for 131 yards.

Originally a first-round selection (17th overall) in the 2002 NFL Draft, Buchanon joined the Texans in 2005 via a trade with the Oakland Raiders in which the Texans sent second and third-round picks to Oakland. He was released by Houston on Oct. 16, and the Buccaneers signed him one day later.

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