Arland Bruce; Breaking Boundaries
HAMILTON — The foremost impact of Arland Bruce the III in Hamilton is clear; three-time all-star, four one thousand yard receiving seasons and Grey Cup Champion in 2004. However, the often overlooked, and even more impactful aspect of Bruce’s arrival is how much more space the rest of the offense has been given to operate.
Bruce’s debut with Hamilton was less then spectacular. He finished with zero receptions and a couple of mediocre returns. But as was explained by Tiger-Cats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille; Bruce’s mere presence was enough.
“We used him on a certain formation a few times and they double covered him and that gave us some room on the short side of the field?, explained Bellefeuille after a 30-18 home victory against BC on Saturday. “They brought Barron Miles over there (to cover Bruce) so he had an impact. We didn’t think they’d give him any special attention but they did.?
Quarterback Quinton Porter noticed a difference in the Lions’ defense as well.
“We would put him out there and they would roll the coverage over to him so if he can garner that kind of respect every week then that’s going to help us huge?
A beneficiary from the Bruce acquisition will be receiver Prechae Rodriguez. He’s already made it into his share of highlight reels in only second season in the CFL and at six-foot-five he is a matchup nightmare for defensive coordinators.
This, without even mentioning Chris Davis who is the team leader in receiving yards, imposes a “pick your poison? approach for opposing teams — especially as Bruce becomes more comfortable with his new team.
“The more he learns — the more he gets acclimated, his role will definitely increase?, said Bellefeuille.
The Ticats host Edmonton at 6:30pm on Saturday.