New Orleans — The Saints waived Isa Abdul-Quddus during the 2013 postseason, but before the Lions safety returned to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday night for the first time since his three years with New Orleans, he said he doesn’t hold any animosity toward his former team.
“They gave me my opportunity in the league and I’m forever indebted for that, you know what I mean?” he said Saturday.
He finished with seven tackles and one pass defended in the Lions' 35-27 victory against his former team.
In two years with the Lions, Abdul-Quddus has been a key contributor on special teams and more so on defense this season, starting four of the past five games in place of James Ihedigbo.
Even though he hadn’t played as much on defense in his first four NFL seasons, Abdul-Quddus said his activity this season hasn’t surprised him. When the Lions claimed him in February 2014, they were transitioning to a new coaching staff, and he appreciated having a fresh start in a new city.
After going undrafted out of Fordham, Abdul-Quddus said his agent suggested the Saints as a place he could carve out a role, and even though his time ended unceremoniously, he managed to stick in New Orleans.
“I remember my agent telling me they always give undrafted guys an opportunity to make the team, so if you could play, they’ll let you play,” he said.
Abdul-Quddus was a rookie in 2011 when the NFL dealt with a lockout. He didn’t have a chance to learn the Saints defense as much as rookies in other years, but he tried to stay in the best possible shape to give him a chance to make the team.
And against a pass-heavy attack, Abdul-Quddus expected to have plenty of chances to show the Saints what they let get away, even if he doesn’t harbor any negative feelings.