More action for Argos' Owens

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:47 AM ET

TORONTO - Chad Owens stretched his 5-foot-8 body but couldn’t snare a pass from Cleo Lemon.

Owens slammed his hand into the turf at the Argonauts’ practice facility in Mississauga, frustrated the football was just beyond his grasp.

“Expectations,” Owens said later. “Yes, it was a hard catch, but I expect myself to make those hard catches. I expect myself to make every play.”

When one thinks of the Flyin’ Hawaiian, usually what comes to mind is one of Owens’ electrifying returns. He was the unanimous choice as the Canadian Football League’s most outstanding special teams player in 2010 and led the league in combined yards.

Owens has been taking plenty of reps at receiver in training camp and already has made a few highlight-reel catches. Though he was not featured extensively in the Argos offence last season (no receiver was), Owens, who was third in team receiving a year ago with 576 yards on 46 catches, could be in line for a promotion of sorts.

“We’re going to find different ways to give him the ball,” Argos head coach and general manager Jim Barker said. “I think the quarterbacks understand how to throw to him.”

What helped make Owens’ monster season remarkable was the fact he was not in Toronto for training camp. At the same time Barker was putting his stamp on the Argos, Owens was in Montreal, growing frustrated with the Alouettes’ plans for him. The sides came to a stalemate and just a week before the regular-season opener, Owens was acquired from Montreal in a trade.

“Training camp is about camaraderie, about building team chemistry and being with the guys, and I was not able to do that last year,” Owens said. “I came in as a newcomer and I had to make plays on the field to earn their respect.”

Owens happily will try to race for a touchdown each time he fields a kick or a punt. Naturally, however, he loves the idea of being a bigger contributor on offence.

“Everyone wants more,” Owens said. “You have to want the ball more, you have to be hungry for it, and I am. But whatever I am asked to do, I will do.”

D-line picture clearing up

The scrap for a job at tackle on the Argonauts’ defensive line has cleared up a bit.

Matthias Askew is wearing a walking boot as he recovers from a sprained ankle.

“When you have a sprained ankle, you are not that much in the mix,” Argos coach and general manager Jim Barker said.

Import Chris Bradwell and non-import Miguel Robede have been solid in Adriano Belli’s old spot, while Nate Robinson will leave the club on Tuesday to attend his brother’s funeral.

Claude Wroten is having passport issues and has not reported to camp.

There’s plenty going on in the secondary as well.

“There is not a defensive back who has not come in and done some really good things,” Barker said. “Probably the stiffest competition is in the secondary.”

Among the newcomers who have played admirably include Durrell Oliver, Dovonte Edwards and Armando Murillo.

Rosters have to be reduced to 68 players (plus non-counters) by midnight on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, quarterback Steven Jyles is attempting to remain positive as his sore shoulder keeps him from doing much.

But he acknowledged on Monday, it’s not simple.

“It’s tough,” Jyles said. “I’m trying to stay mentally strong. We’ll give it another day or two and see how it is.”

Jyles threw soft, five-yard passes to director of player personnel Mike Hagen, but otherwise was quiet. It’s clear Jyles is experiencing some pain his right shoulder, on which he had surgery last October.

The Argos made one move on Monday, releasing import offensive tackle Cory Brandon.


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