Argos getting their kicks

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

They can best be described as the Killer Bs.

Bashir Levingston and Arland Bruce give the Argos the best tandem of kickoff/punt returners in the Canadian Football League. They have combined for five touchdown returns, including at least one in each of the past three games.

They'll be aiming to extend the streak against the B.C. Lions on Monday at the SkyDome.

"Kick return, punt return, whatever it may be, hopefully we can both do something positive to help us win," Bruce said yesterday. "That's our main goal right now."

Levingston returned to the active roster in the past game against the Calgary Stampeders -- he had missed five games because of hamstring problems -- and scored on an 85-yard punt return. It was his ninth touchdown return since joining the Argos in 2002, breaking the franchise record set by Pinball Clemons, now the team's coach.

Tony Miles, who had two touchdown returns last year and had one called back this year on a questionable penalty, is equally dangerous. He is out because of an ankle injury, suffered against B.C. on Aug. 27, but is scheduled to return against Calgary in eight days. Clemons wants him concentrating solely on catching passes.

The Argos have spent considerable sums to acquire these return stars. It's believed Miles and Levingston were re-signed in the off-season for in excess of $100,000 a year. Bruce arrived as a free agent three games ago on a prorated salary of about $162,000.

"It took me three years to find one guy and now we've got two guys. It's an awful good feeling," Clemons said. "The fact is we have three guys."

Argos special teams player Chris Hardy, who often is on the field to provide protection for returns, said Bruce and Levingston are equally dangerous.

"That's the beauty of having both of them," Hardy said. "I'd hate to have to cover them."

Levingston is prone to running from side to side, sometimes to the dismay of his teammates, while Bruce is a straight-ahead sort.

"The difference is Arland is a guy who gets you positive yards more often than Bashir," Clemons said. "Bashir has a greater history of going all the way to the house. The question is: Are you trying to establish field position or (trying) to reconfigure the game or put the game away or get you back into the game? One guy you may put in when you're thinking of field position, another guy may be the guy you put in when you're thinking you need a home run. It's the base stealer versus the home run."

CUNNINGHAM LEAVES

Rookie Chris Cunningham has been released at his own request. He found it financially too hard working for the practice-roster pay of $500 a week, while trying to support a young son. Ottawa Renegades have expressed some interest.


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