Stamps D unfazed by Bruce trade

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:29 AM ET

CALGARY - It won’t change Saturday’s gameplan.

And members of the Calgary Stampeders defence insist Wednesday’s Arland Bruce trade won’t change the landscape of the CFL’s West Division, either.

Just nine months removed from being named a league all-star for the third time, the eccentric receiver was shipped by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the B.C. Lions in exchange for a third-round draft pick and a conditional selection.

Bruce, who has been bothered by a sore hamstring and an eye infection, was not expected to be in the Ticats’ lineup for Saturday’s meeting with the Stamps at McMahon Stadium. That’s a sure thing now, with the 33-year-old joining the struggling Lions.

“I don’t think one person changes the whole division.

I just think it adds a little depth to B.C.’s receiving corps,” said injured Stamps linebacker Juwan Simpson.

“It’s just another good player over here in the West, but changing the whole division? I don’t think it does that much. It’ll definitely help them out, I think, but you’ve still got 11 other guys that he’s playing with, just like he’s playing against 12 guys.”

Bruce hauled in 86 passes in 2010, racking up 1,303 yards

and eight touchdowns, but he was having trouble replicating that success this summer. In four games so far, he has just 104 yards and no touchdowns on nine catches.

“I guess, with him being such the go-to guy in years past, people were trying to tailor to him a little bit more and give the other receivers opportunities to make plays, and they’re doing a great job at it,” said Stamps halfback Keon Raymond. “No discredit on him. It’s just guys know what he can do now.”

Even after saying farewell to Bruce, the Ticats boast a solid crew of pass-catchers in Chris Williams, Dave Stala, Maurice Mann and running back Avon Cobourne. Heading into Saturday’s outing, Ticats

QB Kevin Glenn ranks fifth in the league with 1,238 passing yards.

“They’ve got a good receiving corps and you’ve got a veteran at quarterback,” said Stamps cornerback Geoff Tisdale, who spent three seasons at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

“You’ve got a quarterback that knows what he’s doing out there, so that makes it a bit easier on the receivers. They’ve got some young guys out there, but those guys have been playing real good, and

I think they’re really starting to get a feel for themselves over there.

“But hey, we’ve been doing the same. Every day, we’ve been out here getting better as a defensive unit, so we know what we have to do. We know they’re going to be ready to play, and we’ve got to be ready to play, too.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

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