Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The time zone shifter, Arland Bruce III's next adventure

He's loaded with talent but seems to be acquiring some baggage as he makes his trek across the geographical plain of the CFL.

Arland Bruce III,  bringing his personal highlight reel with him, as well as a Facebook page, joined the BC Lions last week, the fourth stop in his CFL career, a westerly wind taking him to the coast after some colourful stops in Winnipeg, Toronto and short respite in Hamilton.

His days in the east brought to an end last week, when he departed for the shores of the Pacific ocean for a third round pick in the 2012 CFL draft and a conditional draft pick.

He left Toronto last year, in full bluster, off to the Argos hated rivals the TiCats where he suggested much payback would be delivered from his new outpost.  And in last years late Ticat surge, he was a key cog in the Tiger Cat planning, frequently the target of passes, making an impression on the locals, particularly his desire to show up his former team to the east.

However, this year it's been a different offensive set up it seems. A 12 year CFL veteran, Bruce was more of a decoy at times, running phantom routes while other Ti cat receivers reeled in the ball,  leaving the always loquacious Bruce to express his frustration, sometimes in house, sometimes to the wider world.

Regardless of his thoughts on ball assignation, the Cats continued on with their plan to spread the ball around among the teams collective, leaving Bruce no longer a "go to guy" and as things turned out, leaving him to be on the short list for shipment.

In Vancouver, he arrives to a team that has struggled a fair bit in the first third of this season, a young receiving corps which has had a problem holding on to the ball, an underused Geroy Simon probably wondering for his place on the Lions roster. much like Bruce probably did in Hamilton.

The newest Lion did not make it into the line up for the Lions debut win of the season Friday, a welcome result after five consecutive losses.  It's not without note that much of that success in win number one came from the sure hands of Geroy Simon, who provided a bit of a reminder for the offensive planners that success on the field can come through a more proactive use of Simon's abilities.

Friday saw Simon once again put his stamp on the post of top Lion, the dependable, but clearly underused veteran over five weeks who when given the chance to showcase his skill set, can rise to the occasion.

Catching the football never seemed to be an item of concern going into training camp, Simon and Paris Jackson were two of the key receivers in the Lions den in recent years, the new crop of arrivals at camp seemed to offer a promising future, but along the way this year there have been some troublesome signs, pass routes that don't seem to lead anywhere, occasional lame duck passes that never make it tot he destination and most importantly of all, a string of butter finger like drops that left the hometown fans groaning in their seats at Empire Field.

It's to redress some of those concerns we imagine that led the Lions to seek out the services of Bruce from Hamilton, who seemed quite ready to bid him farewell.

How Bruce will fit into that scheme remains to be seen perhaps as early as this weekend,  his inclusion to the Lions roster could provide for a boost of confidence to a struggling team, or it may add a disruptive element at a pivotal point of the season.

As they say, only time will tell.  Though for the Lions with a record of but 1 and 5, time isn't particularly on their side anymore.

Below, some of the accounts of the Chronicles of Arland, 2011 edition...

Vancouver Sun-- What's in a name for a top CFL receiver?
Vancouver Sun-- Arland Bruce's wardrobe shows Wally Buono, media don't always see...
Vancouver Sun-- Bruce Almighty or King of Controversy?
Vancouver Sun-- Lions land 'savvy' Arland Bruce, colourful reputation in trade from Ticats
Vancouver Province-- Don't judge Bruce book by cover
Vancouver Province-- Arland Bruce III, and the other No. 1
Vancouver Province-- Arland Bruce gives Lions a dangerous - and expensive - receiving corps
Vancouver Province-- Lions grab Bruce from Ti-Cats for a steal
Vancouver Province-- Strange new ways after Bruce trade Bruce a perfect fit for Lions
Toronto Sun-- Bruce building chemistry with B. C. mates
Toronto Sun-- Ticats unload Bruce on Lions
Toronto Sun-- Ticats not looking to trade Bruce
Globe and Mail-- Lions land Arland Bruce
Globe and Mail -- Tiger Cats just outgrow Bruce
National Post-- Ticats ship Bruce to Lions
Hamilton Spectator-- Why the Ticats ditched Bruce
Hamilton Spectator-- Talking about Bruce
Hamilton Spectator-- Tiger-Cats send Bruce to Lions for draft picks
Hamilton Spectator-- Is this the end of the Arland Bruce era?

No comments: