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KC Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen says he’s unbothered by your criticism: ‘I don’t care’

·4 min read

Safety Daniel Sorensen lost his starting job in Week 6, about the time this whole Chiefs defensive turnaround started, and for the span of six minutes Sunday, you’d think none of it bothered him a bit.

After returning an interception for a touchdown in the Chiefs 22-9 win against the Broncos late Sunday, Sorensen high-stepped into the end zone, later acknowledging he was letting out a little emotion, but he otherwise showed no recognition of the moment’s significance.

He’d talk about the psychology of sports, the cliche-but-followed advice of never getting too high or too low, but he refused to play along with being the subject of some sort of feel-good rebound story.

As if the first five weeks never happened.

As if at one point this season, a Chiefs fan didn’t start a petition to buy out his contract.

As if others across social media had not called for his removal, a fire that burned so frequently that another Twitter user by the same name — no relation — joked he had to root for the guy just to avoid an onslaught of misplaced anger.

Because, perhaps, in Sorensen’s mind, none of it did happen.

“I’ll be frank,” he said, when asked how much of the backlash he’d noticed. “Absolutely zero. I didn’t read a single article. I won’t read an article from tonight, either.

“I don’t care what people say, good or bad. I don’t get on social media. I don’t read articles. I don’t care, frankly.”

Sorensen, in the most blunt way possible, made it clear Sunday he’s not interested in fitting into the all-too-neat narrative that after the worst stretch of his career, he felt any consolation in sealing a Sunday Night Football victory.

But his teammates obliged. His coach, too.

“A few weeks ago, I was sitting in here, and everybody wanted him gone,” coach Andy Reid said. “This is what’s so great about this game. All of a sudden, he’s back, and his performance these last two games have been beautiful things to watch.”

Even if the degree to which it stretched might have surpassed reason, the criticism itself had been warranted. Sorensen opened the season as the Chiefs starting safety alongside Tyrann Mathieu, and just about every team seemed to locate where No. 49 resided.

He allowed two touchdowns in coverage the last time Arrowhead Stadium appeared on Sunday Night Football, which just so happened to be the last time he had his starting job.

So the Chiefs agreed the critique had some merit.

“I think people forget how hard this game is sometimes,” Mathieu said. “You’re dealing with the best athletes in the world. Like I said, to see him weather all that (and) stay committed to this team — he never changed. I think that says a lot about him.”

The play he made Sunday described him well. The Chiefs called an all-out blitz in the fourth quarter, leaving behind Sorensen to cover the running back. But when Javonte Williams stayed in to help protect his quarterback, Sorensen dropped into coverage.

Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tried to hit receiver Tim Patrick on a drag, but Sorensen had cut off the lane. Chiefs linebacker Ben Niemann deflected the pass, and Sorensen awaited the football. Patrick and Bridgewater each attempted to bring him down on the interception return, but he treated them like gutter guards on a bowling lane.

“Dan does what any smart player would do — he just found some work,” Mathieu said. “The ball came to him. The rest is history.”

Sorensen stayed succinct in describing his approach to football over these past couple of months. Show up to practice. Do your job. Grind.

That simple, he said.

One play won’t change the story of a season — he made others, including the stop on a two-point conversion try — though the point isn’t to rewrite that story anyway. The point is the Chiefs still envision a role for Sorensen, even if it isn’t the one he occupied when he broke training camp. The interception, his teammates and coach believe, is one example — not their validation — they were right to stick with him.

“Guys can hang their heads if things aren’t going right, especially if it’s as big as that was becoming,” Reid said. “He didn’t do that. He trusted himself. He trusted his coaches. He trusted his team and the guys around him. That’s not always the case.”

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