Owners want Allen to stay

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

The owners of the Argos want Damon Allen back for as long as he wants to be a member of the team.

David Cynamon, speaking for himself and co-owner Howard Sokolowski, said yesterday at the Argos' civic reception at Nathan Phillips Square that Allen is an integral part of the team's future.

Allen's contract concludes in February, but the 41-year-old quarterback has expressed a desire to play for at least another two years.

"I think it's imperative that he comes back," Cynamon said. "He really didn't get to play most of this season (after cracking his left tibia in a game against Montreal on Aug. 12 and missing almost two months).

"I think he's just hitting his stride. I think we want to have continuity on this team. You don't want to have a lot of turnover.

"There's nobody ready to step up immediately. Damon's a winner. As long as Damon Allen wants to play, Damon Allen is welcome on the Toronto Argonauts as far as I'm concerned."

Offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin lauded Allen's performance in the team's 27-19 Grey Cup victory over the B.C. Lions on Sunday at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa.

Allen was named the game's most valuable player. He rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another among his 23 completions in 34 attempts for 299 yards.

Allen's touchdown pass to slotback Robert Baker indicated to Austin that his quarterback was in a zone.

Austin would like Allen to return if that's what he wants.

"I think he still loves it," Austin said. "He still wants to compete. He loves being around the players. He just wants to play."

Austin also expressed satisfaction in the offence, which had come under criticism at various times during the year but peaked at the right time.

"It should be like that more times than not," he said. "It was just a situation where we protected up front and gave Damon time to read the defence. He made really great decisions, other than one or two, and threw to the right guy.

"It's not about me. It's about these guys," Austin added when asked if he felt vindicated. "I'm very comfortable and confident in the job I did all year schematically. It just got into a situation where our guys executed properly.

"Hopefully we can get all (of the players) back without starting from scratch."


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