KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Phillip Buchanon's helmet went into his
equipment bag, stashed away without a second thought.
The Oakland Raiders' second-year punt returner and cornerback
was just as dismissive of questions about his headgear --
specifically, the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he drew
for taking it off in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Kansas
Oakland had to settle for a game-tying field goal by Sebastian
Janikowski, and Kansas City drove downfield for Morten Andersen's
35-yard field goal with four seconds left for a 27-24 victory.
Buchanon didn't want to talk about that drive, either,
especially the fourth-and-14 play on which he gave up Marc
Boerigter's 16-yard catch that set up the winning kick.
"It was a tough game to lose. I didn't do enough for us to
win," Buchanon said with a shrug. "That's how it happens."
Then he smiled, said, "Talk to y'all later," and walked away.
Reactions elsewhere in the Raiders' locker room were less
Veteran wide receiver Tim Brown, asked if he offered Buchanon
any advice, said Buchanon was likely to get a lot of it in the
"He already has a lot of veteran leadership over there (on the
defense), so I haven't taken the opportunity," Brown said. "I
think the opportunity will present itself this week."
Former Oakland great Jim Otto, now in charge of special projects
for the team, could be overheard calling Buchanon's actions
"stupid" and ripping the cornerback's defensive skills.
Coach Bill Callahan was more diplomatic, but just as clearly
"I think he's learning, and these are hard lessons to learn,"
Callahan said. "You can't do the things you've normally done in
college when you come in here.
"He's a second-year guy. He's experienced enough and been
around enough pro football to understand what the situations are
and what the focus has to be."
The Raiders trailed 24-21 with just under four minutes left when
Buchanon returned Jason Baker's short punt 27 yards to Kansas
But instead of running back to the bench, he sprinted through
the end zone, took off his helmet and yelled at fans.
The resulting penalty pushed Oakland back to the 41, and the
Raiders could get no closer than the 18 before Janikowski's 41-yard
field goal with 2:22 remaining.
"That was very big," Chiefs defensive end Eric Hicks said.
"You can't do that. I got (a penalty) for doing it last year. You
just have to learn from others."
Buchanon did have one defender among his teammates.
"You cannot fault the youngster for his celebration,"
offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy said. "He should have known it
was a penalty, but at the same time, I don't necessarily blame
Buchanon also had a costly miscue in Oakland's 17-10 loss to
Kansas City in October, when his muffed punt return led to Priest
Holmes' 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.