The Argonauts miss dearly Arland Bruce’s contributions on the field.
But head coach Bart Andrus has no regrets over the trading of Bruce to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats late in July.
“No, I don’t,” Andrus said after practice on Thursday. “When he left, I wished him the best. From what I understand hearing from their coaches is he is a little bit different guy now.
“He is first in their facility and the last to leave every day. If anything, one of the things we are expected to do is help every player we have on our team with their career. At that time, we may have helped him, I don’t know. In the long run, we will see.”
With a 3-8 record and hopes of a playoff spot almost certainly dead if they lose in Winnipeg to the Blue Bombers tomorrow, the Argos could use Bruce in a big way. In six games that Bruce has started for Hamilton, he has lead them in receiving in every one.
Overall, with 759 receiving yards, Bruce is fourth in the Canadian Football League; his seven touchdowns in the air are second only to the 11 caught by Jeremaine Copeland of the Calgary Stampeders. Six of Bruce’s TDs have come while he was wearing the black and gold of the Tiger-Cats.
By contrast, the Argos’ leading receiver is Chad Lucas, who has 480 yards and one touchdown.
It’s safe to assume the Argos might have another win or two had Bruce not been traded. He was deemed expendable after a public fallout with Andrus, which stemmed from Bruce's breaking of team rules.
The Bombers also are 3-8. The Argos and Bombers are 1-1 against each other this season and will face each other again in 2009.
“We can knock Winnipeg and put them a little farther back and keep us closer to B.C. if we win,” Argos defensive end Jonathan Brown said. “It’s a very important game, definitely. It’s the CFL, anything can happen. We are not planning on losing.”