The Minnesota Vikings need to improve their secondary in a big way this offseason if they hope to climb back to relevance in the not-too-distant future. That will likely require some major personnel changes on the back end. Several players who made up this sorry unit in 2011 could (make that "should") be released or allowed to resign elsewhere – if anyone else will have them.
But Husian Abdullah is probably not one of those guys, and Viking Update's John Holler reported on Sunday that Abdullah has been told by concussion specialists in Pittsburgh that he can play football again.
Abdullah had been seriously contemplating retirement after suffering his fourth concussion in two seasons last fall. The fourth concussion landed him on the injured reserve after the Vikings ninth game and ended this season.
And although watching San Francisco 49ers free safety Dashon Goldson the past two weeks smash opposing receivers, deftly jump routes and make several plays on the ball illustrates the gap that lies between good safety play and what the Vikings have been doing for several seasons, I still consider the news on Abdullah a positive development.
Abdullah is no Pro Bowler – at least he hasn't shown that ability yet – but he's a decent enough player that the Vikings can feel pretty good about putting him out there at free safety next season. That allows them to concentrate on other pressing matters such as making upgrades at cornerback, strong safety and even linebacker to improve the pass defence.
If the Washington State alum had been told his career was over because of concussions, it would have added to an already long list of positions the Vikings management must find replacements for. But as long as Abdullah can stay clear of concussions next season, the Vikes should be okay at free safety. In Vikings country these days, we call that progress.
Some (very) brief Super Bowl thoughts
So it's the New York Giants against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl again.
I did not watch the Pats-Ravens game Sunday, but I did get a chance to watch the entire Giants-49ers game. What a grinder of a contest that was. It may have been a thrilling game, but I don't think it was a great game. The offences were too bad in the second half for me to rank it as a great game (both defensive units had something to do with that, however). But the Giants win does set up the best possible Super Bowl matchup. Consider the alternatives:
* Ravens-49ers. Uggh. I would have envisioned a 5-3 score, with Baltimore winning by a safety.
* Pats-49ers – I think Bill Belichick would have had some fun gameplanning for Alex Smith.
* Ravens-Giants. Meh.
And maybe this is just me, but I find it odd how Fox color commentator Troy Aikman always refers to New York quarterback Eli Manning as "Eli", like he's his son or something. That is an odd habit for an announcer to have. I don't hear Aikman calling other quarterbacks by their first name for an entire game. Somebody should have a word with him about this. It makes him sound like he's a Giants fan.