Elks’ receiver Manny Arceneaux knows he can’t ‘take anything for granted’ in CFL comeback

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

Despite entering his tenth CFL season in 2022, Edmonton Elks’ receiver Manny Arceneaux knows that nothing will be handed to him.

“You can’t get comfortable and take anything for granted,” Arceneaux told the media in Edmonton this week. “Nothing is given to anybody.”

If anyone had the résumé to feel comfortable, it would be Arceneaux. The former B.C. Lion and Saskatchewan Roughrider has caught 578 passes for 8,418 yards and 57 touchdowns over 140 career games, and has four 1,000-yard and two 100-reception seasons to his name.

Nevertheless, ‘The Manny Show’ knows that he still has to earn his spot on the roster, even if he’s been in and around the CFL since Barack Obama’s first presidential term

“Everything is like the first time. Every camp is a new camp. You’ve got to come out and work as if it’s your very first time,” Arceneaux said.

After playing the 2019 season with the Riders, Arceneaux found himself without a contract last year. When a CFL deal didn’t materialize, Arceneaux found a home with the Frisco Fighters of the Indoor Football League where he caught 40 passes for 387 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games. His third-place Fighters lost to the Massachusetts Pirates in the semi-finals of the IFL playoffs.

In a move that shocked many, Arceneaux signed with the Edmonton Elks in January alongside fellow veteran receiver Adarius Bowman, who has since re-entered retirement.

While Arceneaux is hoping to add to his legacy, he knows that he is in Edmonton for more than just what he can bring on the field.

“This isn’t about me,” he admitted. “It’s about this team and helping shift the culture, change the brand of football here in Edmonton. That’s more important than anything.”

Players who hit the latter stages of their careers sometimes bring more behind the scenes than they do in front of the camera. Arceneaux will be no different, and his teammates believe his influence will make an impact on the Elks in a meaningful way.

“His leadership and his experience in that receiver room is going to go a long way,” defensive back Aaron Grymes said.

We’ve all seen players, regardless of sport or league, who were once the top option and have a problem with taking on a mentor role. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Arceneaux, who looks primed to lend his expertise.

“I’m here as a piece to the puzzle, to make those guys around me better,” he stressed.

Adding a piece such as Manny Arceneaux should do nothing but make the Edmonton Elks a better football team in 2021.

Josh Smith has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.