Seamless adjustment for Shabazz

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

As an outside linebacker, Siddeeq Shabazz is used to the game being played around him.

On Thursday, it was played in front of him when the Edmonton Eskimos linebacker was forced to line up at safety in the team's 27-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

It was the first time Shabazz has played the position in the CFL.

"In the NFL I played safety; it wasn't until I got here that I played linebacker," he said.

"I felt pretty good out there. The field up here is a lot bigger, it's a little bit different, but I felt comfortable out there."

Shabazz, 27, was signed by the Eskimos as a free agent in January, 2007.

Last season he led the team in tackles.

Prior to coming to Edmonton he spent time with the Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.

"I knew all week I was going to play at safety," Shabazz said. "I wasn't nervous at all. I was looking forward to it."

Saskatchwan's only big offensive play came on a 35-yard touchdown reception by Weston Dressler, who ran away from Jonte Buhl on a crossing route then beat Shabazz to the end zone.

After that, the Edmonton's defence didn't allow Saskatchewan's offence to score another point.

"Overall as a group, I liked what I saw with our secondary," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia.

"Now it's a question of going back and seeing what the game film says."

Shabazz was filling in for Trey Young, who sat out with an ankle injury.

Whether Shabazz is back there next week against the Calgary Stampeders in the Labour Day Classic remains to be seen.

"We had some injuries, but hopefully those guys get healthy and come back," Shabazz said. "We'll see what happens, but it works either way."


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