Written by Guest Blogger: Mitchell Blair Riderville.com
Arland Bruce certainly doesn’t have the numbers Randy Moss had, but can one say that the newest member of the B.C. Lions is a clone of the controversial NFL receiver. Like Moss, Bruce is talented. Like Moss, he makes a team’s offence more dangerous and like Moss, you just don’t know what you are going to get day-to-day. He is fine until he starts to pout and then you just wait and wonder what the next step will be and hope you can emerge unscathed from this all about me individual.
Like many talented wideouts in the NFL, Bruce has a diva like quality to him. That quality never surfaced when he was catching 297 passes in a four year span for the Toronto Argonauts. He was at the top of his game and was considered as one of the best pass-catchers in the game.
However, Bruce’s character started to come into issue after an ill-advised tribute to the late Michael Jackson after a touchdown in 2009—a touchdown that ironically happened in Hamilton. That stunt and a difference of opinion with Head Coach Bart Andrus resulted in him going to the Tiger-Cats. Things went well for Bruce in Hamilton in 2009 and 2010 and as a result, not a critical word was uttered by the 33 year old.
As 2011 started, it was expected Bruce would once again play a key role in the Tiger-Cats offence and help them take that step to what they hoped was being able to challenge Montreal for an Eastern Division crown. It didn’t happen. For whatever reason, Bruce was not the focus of the passing game and he let his frustration be known to TSN’s Sara Orlesky after a game in Edmonton in which he said he wasn’t getting the ball enough. His me character emerged again(Look at his website http://www.arlandbruceiii.com for proof). As a result, the Ti-Cats have said enough is enough and they have found a trading partner in the Lions who don’t really give up a lot to get the University of Minnesota product.
Wally Buono’s team is in need of a spark. They are 0-5 and they are having problems catching the ball, but is Bruce the answer? Bruce will not be the number one option for Travis Lulay as Geroy Simon will continue to have that title. Bruce may not even be number 2 or number 3 and if that is the case, will the pouting that occurred in Hamilton occur in B.C? If it does, could this be the last straw for Buono? Wally is taking a gamble that he can get the good Arland Bruce for the remainder of the season and that he can come in and be a contributor while keeping his mouth shut. It’s a big gamble to take and its one that will be interesting to watch as the Lions try to climb back into the Western Division race. Its also one that considering the likes of Simon and Paris Jackson that I wouldn’t have taken even though it cost very little to get.