In the offseason, cornerback Philip Buchanon was faced with a choice.
He could continue to fish around in free agency after playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Or he could sign with the lowly Detroit Lions, who, of course, were unable to win a single football game last season.
And Buchanon chose . . . the Lions.
He explained his rationale to Calvin Watkins of Fanhouse.
“I did want to stay in Florida,” Buchanon told Watkins. “Tampa was going in a different direction and I truly feel like I’m still a starter, and Detroit was one of the teams that was actually there.
For Buchanon, it was a case of being high on the Lions’ list and getting the opportunity to play a more free-wheeling style under new coach Jim Schwartz after operating under the more conservative Tampa 2 scheme last season.
Plus, the Lions are tasking Buchanon with guarding shifty receivers that dot the schedule, including the Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester and the Minnesota Vikings’ Bernard Berrian.
As for the Lions’ lack of success, well, a few sayings/cliches must have come to Buchanon’s mind such as: “That was then, this is now,” and “There’s nowhere to go, but up.”
More tangible factors might have been a starting job and a two-year, $8.5 million contract.
“Last year is last year,” Buchanon said. “So many elements go into a team going 0-16. I don’t want to get into coaching or playing chemistry. But it’s about the coaching when teams really go that bad.”
Somewhere while possibly lighting up a few bottle rockets and Roman candles and chomping on hot dogs today, former Lions coach Rod Marinelli is frowning and probably noting that a lack of talent and Matt Millen might have had just a small hand in the 0-16 campaign.
[Editor’s note: If/when Marinelli reads this, he might want to aim a bottle rocket or two toward a certain portion of Buchanon’s anatomy.]