The Kansas City Chiefs have gone to great lengths to try and plug the hole at safety in the defensive backfield this offseason. Beyond Eric Berry, the Chiefs coaches didn’t have any players they could plug into the starting lineup.
Since head coach Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey took over, they have added ten players that could get a look at safety. That’s in addition to the four already on the roster.
The first safety signed by the new regime? That would be Husain Abdullah, the former Minnesota Vikings starter who sat out all of last season while he was on a religious pilgrimage.
Abdullah was an undrafted free agent out of Washington State in 2008 and slowly worked his way onto the field. In his final two years with the Vikings, the safety started 24 games before making the decision — along with his brother, former Arizona Cardinals safety Hamza Abdullah — to take a year off in order to make a trip that was centered around time in Saudi Arabia.
The Chiefs safety talked to ESPN this week about his trip and return to the game he loves. Abdullah tried to return at the end of last season, but when teams were concerned about his readiness, he decided to wait until 2013 and quickly found a home in Kansas City.
“It’s as fun as ever,” Abdullah said. “To get the opportunity to be back is really special. I’ve really enjoyed the entire experience.”
Despite so many safeties being added since the signing of Abdullah, Dorsey is happy to have him around the team.
“He is one of the most refreshing guys I know,” Dorsey told ESPN. “He is mature beyond his years. He has great self confidence. He is a wise, intelligent, deep guy. He is clearly spiritual and it’s neat thing to have a guy like Husain in our program.”
As the battle plays out throughout OTAs and into training camp for the starting spot next to Berry and then to fill out the depth, don’t count out Abdullah. He doesn’t just bring to the table NFL experience, but the fight of a rookie trying to hold onto a career.