Arland feels vibe

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:22 AM ET

Arland Bruce III is nothing if not an optimist.

The Argonauts receiver, coming off a season in which he had a career-high 92 receptions, is predicting big things for 2009.

"I'm looking forward to having an MVP season, it's as simple as that," Bruce said. "Whatever I got to do to do it, that's what I am here for."

Though it might be a stretch to envision the 31-year-old holding the CFL's most outstanding player award in five months, Bruce is counting on an improved on-field relationship with quarterback Kerry Joseph.

There's no doubt that Bruce, an East all-star in three of the past four seasons, is Toronto's go-to guy at receiver. But as Joseph struggled last year, part of the trickle-down effect was that Bruce didn't have the kind of year that he wanted.

The native of Olathe, Kan., piled up 1,210 receiving yards, good for seventh in the league, but it was 160 yards fewer than his personal best of 1,370 set in 2006. And though Bruce had nine touchdowns, it was three off his high of 12, which he pulled in with Winnipeg seven years ago.

Bruce was the only Toronto receiver to catch a TD pass in each of the club's pre-season games, and said the on-field communication

between himself and Joseph has improved. Whether it's through eye contact or hand gestures -- the quotable Bruce finds body language works during games -- he and Joseph are on the same page. That's crucial for the Argos if they want to become a winning team this season.

"No one really knows how the confusion was behind closed doors," Bruce said. "We were not ebony and ivory. But you grow, and (the confusion) is all gone now."


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