Abdullah-palooza!

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

Rahim and Khalid Abdullah are living a dream with the Calgary Stampeders.

For the first time ever, the brothers are playing together on the same team.

"It was a dream ever since we were growing up, but we never had an opportunity until now," said Rahim from the Stampeders' locker-room yesterday.

Rahim is an all-star calibre defensive end, while Khalid is a starting linebacker.

And when the Stampeders step on the field tomorrow night at Commonwealth Stadium to battle the Edmonton Eskimos, the person who started the dream will be watching.

MOM'S IN TOWN!

After missing the first-regular season game last weekend, Jamillah -- Rahim and Khalid's mother -- made the long journey from Florida to Alberta yesterday.

Not exactly a normal mom, Jamillah taught her boys to play football before they learned to ride a bike.

She actually worked with her young sons on football technique every day in the backyard -- and eventually watched them play in the NFL.

In his rookie season in 1999, Rahim finished fourth on the Cleveland Browns in tackles.

But three years later he was out of the NFL and in Edmonton playing for the Eskimos.

In 2003, Rahim led the Esks in sacks while his younger brother became a starter in his rookie year with the Cincinnati Bengals.

But the planets started to align for the brothers in the fall of 2004 because of one simple play.

"I got tangled up with everybody and got kicked in the back of my leg in training camp (in Cincinnati)," recalled Khalid, who's three years younger than Rahim.

"I had a dislocation of my right ankle."

DOOR OPENED

He didn't see the field the rest of the year and was released in the off-season, which opened the door to come to Calgary, where his brother had signed as a free agent.

With Rahim pushing the right buttons with Stamp management, Jim Barker signed Khalid to a free-agent deal this off-season with the hope he could fill George White's huge shoes.

The Stamps' leading tackler last year is on the shelf while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.

But so far, Khalid is filling in just fine.

Not only did the Stamps keep the Esks' running game from doing any damage last Saturday at McMahon Stadium, Khalid had four special-teams tackles, more than anyone else.

"He's a great athlete," said Rahim of his 27-year-old brother.

"And on a team with Denny Creehan (as defensive co-ordinator) he could be one of the best players that ever played in the league."

In fact, Rahim believes Khalid could become the next John Grace in the CFL.

That's pretty big talk considering Grace was the league's defensive player of the year in 2005.

But if first impressions mean anything, Khalid could definitely be something special in Cowtown.


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