Among the CFL elite

Derick Armstrong caught on quickly to the Blue Bombers system and has become a major weapon....

Derick Armstrong caught on quickly to the Blue Bombers system and has become a major weapon. (Winnipeg Sun File/Chris Procaylo)

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

HAMILTON -- After Winnipeg GM Brendan Taman out-bid Saskatchewan and Edmonton for wide receiver Derick Armstrong last month, another GM advised Taman that the Blue Bombers had just landed one of the top three pass catchers in the CFL.

And the CFL's elite includes the likes of Geroy Simon, Milt Stegall, Arland Bruce III and Ben Cahoon, just to name a few.

And if Armstrong does not return to give the NFL another crack, he will become the heir apparent to Stegall, who could retire as soon as this winter. The former CFL all-star continued to dazzle on Sunday as he caught a Stegall-like 11 passes for 129 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown, helping the Bombers beat the Tiger-Cats 29-22.

"It was a great game for all of us, not just a great game for me," said Armstrong, deflecting the praise. "We came out and played well. We wanted to establish ourselves and let everyone know that, 'Hey, we've got receivers that can play the game and look after us.' The main thing was, we just came out and played and we've just got to continue that and stay focused."

The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Texan admitted the Bombers lost their focus in the middle part of the match.

"That's part of the game -- a little adversity you've got to overcome and I think we handled it very well, although there were tough times for us," said Armstrong, 27. "But we stayed on the track and were able to hold the ball in the fourth quarter and come away with the win."

Winnipeg scored 12 unanswered points in the final frame as the offence re-discovered the way to play ball control.

What is even more amazing is that that Armstrong was almost forced to sit out the second half with a wrist injury. But he shook it off and caught six of his 11 passes for 58 yards in the last 30 minutes.

"It's always good to have big receivers like that who catch the ball," said Bomber quarterback Kevin Glenn, who completed 24 of 35 passes for 325 yards and three TDs. "Everybody on the receiving corps played well (Sunday)."

And what is even more impressive is that they did it without Stegall, who remained home to nurse a knee injury. Stegall could return as soon as this Saturday when Winnipeg plays host to the Calgary Stampeders and with slotback Kwame Cavil also shining, the Bombers could field their most impressive receiving corps of the season as they gear up for the playoffs.

"We're really coming together there," said Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry.

"These guys have been in the offence for a while now and they're learning the system, the terminology and relationships with each other. They're starting to put their own personal skills and their own touch on each of the plays that we call. I'm really excited about what we're seeing out there with these guys."

The Bombers may also welcome back injured non-import offensive lineman Matt Sheridan (groin) and should he replace an American on the O-line, that would allow Berry to start wide receiver Chris Brazzell, Stegall, Cavil and Armstrong at the same time.


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