Blue ready to pounce

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:05 AM ET

At least Mike Kelly and Bart Andrus will have something to talk about tonight when they meet on the field for their pre-game chat.

The topic? Disgruntled receivers and how to deal with them. Where's Dr. Phil when you need him?

The Argos and Bombers will determine tonight (6:30 p.m., TSN) who the East Division's basement dweller is going to be for the next seven days. Both teams are tied for third in the division at 1-2 and are coming off ugly losses.

It's the first of a home-and-home, with Game 2 slated for next Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

"It's huge for us," Bombers quarterback Stefan LeFors said. "Playing these guys back to back, it's always hard to beat a team two times in a row, so you want to win the one at home and go there and try to steal another one."

The Bombers will have most of their weapons this evening, but the same can't be said for the Boatmen after Andrus decided to leave star slotback Arland Bruce III at home for disciplinary reasons.

Bruce was told on Wednesday he was staying in Toronto because he hadn't been acting like a pro lately, and the slotback responded by criticizing Andrus, not to mention Argos starting quarterback Kerry Joseph, in a newspaper interview.

Kelly had his own coach-receiver situation three weeks ago when wideout Derick Armstrong, who coincidentally failed his physical with the Argos earlier this week, decided not to play after being informed before the game that he was going to be a backup.

Armstrong was released six days later, and it sounds as if the same fate might befall Bruce, a former Bomber.

Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown noted how his team responded in the game following Armstrong's release, a 42-30 whipping of the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders, so he believes the Blue and Gold must be ready for anything tonight.

"It's a big deal (that Bruce isn't playing), but you saw how we responded without one of our best receivers," Brown said. "We came out and we played well against Calgary.

"Sometimes you rally behind your coach who has the fortitude and the nerve to make a move like that."

If the Bruce situation isn't bad enough for the Boatmen, they are making three other changes at receiver due to injury. Andre Talbot, Tyler Scott and Matt Lambros are on the limp, while Brad Smith, Chad Rempel and Hank Edwards are in.

In other words, good luck Kerry Joseph. You're going to need it.

"Winnipeg is not going to feel sorry for us," the Argos quarterback said.

That's also because the Bombers have enough of their own problems to worry about. Their offence is still trying to find first gear under LeFors, who threw for just 99 yards in last week's 25-13 loss to Hamilton.

LeFors said the Bombers will trot out more of the plays they've been running since the start of training camp, hoping the familiarity will pay dividends.

Home run hitters Romby Bryant and Terrence Edwards have had nothing but dribblers through three games, but the latter believes it's only a matter of time before balls start leaving the park under Kelly's "radically different" offensive scheme.

"History shows that a Mike Kelly offence has been productive," Edwards said. "I guess Matt Dunigan's 713 yards is still a record, so you gotta look at it as it has worked.

"You gotta stay focused on it and believe in it. And we believe in it. We just gotta do it the way he wants to do it."


Videos

Photos