It's Bruce alrighty

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:38 PM ET

Don Matthews has made his list and he has checked it twice.

And, quite frankly, whether his players have been naughty or nice up to this point in the season doesn't matter to the Argonauts head coach.

Now that he has had more than a week to sink his teeth into the Argos roster, Matthews has put together a ranking of his offensive playmakers, and Dominique Dorsey is on top.

Dorsey, who received honourable mention for the CFL's special teams player of the week, has been the best Argo by a long touchdown this season. The next man on Matthews' list of movers and shakers happens to be a guy who has not been as effective.

It's receiver Arland Bruce, whose biggest headline so far this season has been to pull a Spider-Man mask out of his pants on Labour Day after scoring a touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"If he mentions my name, I have to stand up to the plate and do my job, which I have no problem doing," Bruce, clad in a black hoodie and dark sunglasses that brought to mind the Grim Reaper, said yesterday. "It does not break my heart (that Matthews wants to put the ball in Bruce's hands more often)."

Part of Matthews' reputation has been built on overhauling offences and defences after taking over. But it's not as easy to do in the middle of the season, though Matthews has to be given marks for trying, considering the surprising promotion of Cody Pickett to starting quarterback over Kerry Joseph for the Argos' visit to Calgary this Saturday.

Bruce's 58 receptions are second to CFL leader Ken-Yon Rambo of the Stampeders, who has 60, but Bruce sits seventh in receiving yards with 762 and has just five touchdowns in 11 games.

There have been games where Bruce barely has registered in the Argos' offensive schemes, and Matthews wants to change that.

"We want more production out of everyone, but what I will tell you is, we will get the ball in the hands of our playmakers and he is up there in terms of our playmakers," Matthews said. "We've had a chance to re-design some things based on the skill level these guys have. We're not sending messages. We are trying to find out who can do what."

Bruce gets what Matthews is selling. Already, the two apparently have hit it off.

"If I run a route, he will give me a nod and I will give him one back," Bruce said. "It lets me know we are on the same page without any long conversations. My job is to contribute. Coach Matthews is telling you he is going to give me the ball, and I am going to try to do that for him."

CFL NOTES

Sportsnet reported last night that free-agent running back Kenton Keith has been offered a contract by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats ... The Argos signed offensive lineman Andrew Greene to the practice roster, and Matthews said he will be activated as the seventh lineman and "move up the depth chart." Greene was the CFL's most outstanding lineman in 2003 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He played for Winnipeg last season ... Linebacker Tim Strickland, signed this week by the Argos, continues to recover from surgery on his left shoulder but hopes to play Sept. 27 at home against the Stampeders. Matthews is not sure, saying the team "does not know if it will be able to clear" Strickland. Linebacker Michael Fletcher, meanwhile, said his foot is "100%" but he is unlikely to play this week.


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