One year ago, Kansas City Chiefs Safety Husain Abdullah wasn’t sure if he’d ever have the opportunity to truly make his mark on the NFL. The four-year veteran had played in Minnesota for four seasons, experiencing a number of ups and downs along the way, but was only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential when he took a year off from football to participate in a religious pilgrimage with family.
Abdullah and his older brother Hamza, who also left the NFL to participate in the pilgrimage, never lost hope of returning to the NFL once they returned from their trip, but knew that it wouldn’t be easy.
Abdullah spoke on his journey back to the NFL with KCCchiefs.com:
Quotes via KCChiefs.com
“After we got back from our pilgrimage, we went back to working out and it was rough. Eventually we worked our way back into shape. Late 2012, my agent called saying there were teams interested, but then no one wanted to take me because I missed OTAs and training camp and I took a year off, so they were skeptical and didn’t think I could contribute right away.”
However, opportunity knocked, and Abdullah answered. The Chiefs signed the four-year veteran to a one-year deal prior to the commencement of training camp, and allowed him to compete for opportunities immediately.
Abdullah failed to make it onto the field early on in year one, but his hard work and contributions he made behind closed doors began to get noticed. As noted on KCChiefs.com, Abdullah was voted by his teammates as one of the team’s six captains for the postseason. Abdullah took advantage of that opportunity in a major way, by recording six tackles, defending two passes and racking up two timely interceptions along the way in the team’s wildcard loss to the Colts.
Kansas City ultimately re-signed Abdullah this offseason, and this time around, the starting free safety job may be Abdullah’s to lose, and he looks to take advantage of the opportunity he has in Kansas City.
“I’m going to sit down before training camp and layout my goals for the season, I want to have clear goals to achieve this year,” Abdullah said. “I want to be a playmaker, I want to be reliable, and I want to be a fire starter, to make a play and get everyone pumped up. I want to impact this team and work with my teammates to achieve our ultimate goal of a championship.”
Abdullah’s teammates spoke highly of him, as well. All-Pro Safety Eric Berry spoke on his smarts, hard work ethic, and incredible attention to detail when talking to KCChiefs.com.
“I’ve just been paying close attention to him and just trying to take notes as much as I can.”
Abdullah figures to see an expanded role in 2014 with Kendrick Lewis and Quintin Demps’ departures. With a year of learning the playbook and getting his feet back under him, the opportunities for the 28 year old safety are endless. With Abdullah’s confidence at an all time high, his playing time likely doubling and familiarity with the defense increasing, the five-year veteran is armed with all of the essentials to make an impact in a major way for the Chiefs defense.