Owen has found a home with Argos
By Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency
|Argos receiver Chad Owens hauls in a pass in front of the Alouettes' Shea Emry in Montreal on Sunday. (Martin Chevalier/QMI agency)
TORONTO - Had opportunity knocked on Chad Owens’ door, the Flyin’ Hawaiian would have been an Alouette, but it’s doubtful whether all would have been well for this dynamic weapon.
The Als’ recent history in Montreal has been one of finding talent, nurturing it and turning to it when an incumbent is unavailable.
At no position has Montreal excelled better than at the receiver spot, an area so deep that it was virtually impossible for Owens to properly showcase his skills when he toiled on the team’s practice roster.
“Chad was a great guy,’’ said veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo. “He had his family here and was just waiting for his turn. He was a very happy guy in the locker room, he had a great attitude. Most of those guys who come from Hawaii just enjoy life.
“He was a great guy to have around. With him leaving to go to Toronto, as you can see it’s actually benefitted him because he is a major, major target over there.”
Like many, Calvillo had no clue Owens would evolve the way he has as an Argo, but a lot of what Owens has been able to achieve is the direct result of playing in a passing offence with a legitimate quarterback in Ricky Ray.
“You don’t know what to envision from anybody who’s on the practice roster until they get on the field,’’ continued Calvillo. “All I know is that he’s taken full advantage for his opportunity and created a name for himself in this league.”
Heading into Sunday’s kickoff against his former team, Owens needed 62 receiving yards to become the first Argo receiver in four years to reach 1,000 yards, a milestone last accomplished by Arland Bruce III.
Against the Als, Owens led the Argos with six receptions for 87 yards as the passing game never got on track once Ricky Ray left he game with an undisclosed injury to his left knee.
Owens also had 87 yards on five kickoff returns and 38 yards on four punt returns.
“Chad’s not just a difference-making player, but he’s an elite player. That’s what he is,’’ Als head coach Marc Trestman said. “He has all this athleticism, but a lot of guys do.
“What separates Chad is that he’s an elite competitor. He’s got no quit in him. He plays hard with a real sense of confidence you require to play at this level. That’s how we’ve known him and he’s continued to grow.”