Red Zone

July 23, 2014

Chiefs’ Chris Owens steps into a murky situation at cornerback

An injury allowed the veteran to take part in the early portion of Kansas City Chiefs training camp and he has loved having the opportunity to get out and play. But his role with the team has yet to be determined.

Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Aside from quarterbacks Alex Smith and Chase Daniel, the old man in the Chiefs’ three-day camp for rookies, free agents and selected veterans is cornerback Chris Owens.

Owens, 27, was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chiefs and missed some time in the off-season due to a hamstring injury, allowing him to practice in camp before the full team reports Wednesday and takes the field on Thursday.

“You say (I’m old) because of this beard,” Owens said with a laugh. “I should have cut it. This is my sixth year, but it’s football. I’ve been playing since I was 8, so I love it. I can come out early, and it’s an advantage for me.”

Owens, who spent 2009-12 at Atlanta and last season with Cleveland and Miami, steps into a murky situation at cornerback. The Chiefs released six-year starting right cornerback Brandon Flowers, and returnees Ron Parker and Marcus Cooper are unproven. Sean Smith, the other starter from 2013, lost his starting role, at least during the organized team activities, after an arrest for DUI, and third-round draft pick Phillip Gaines is still developing.

Owens, 5-9, 180, resembles Flowers in size and would seem to be a good fit for the nickel spot that Flowers occupied for much of last season.

“I don’t look at it that way,” Owens said. “I come in and do my job and leave the personnel stuff to the general manager and head coach. The thing I’ve learned in six years is you’ve always got to prove yourself. You’ve got to come out here whether you’re a rookie, whether you’re a 10-year veteran, you’ve got to prove yourself on the field.”

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/randycovitz.

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