The Hamilton Tiger-Cats defence isn't planning any special welcome for Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce, playing for the first time in eight games -- except to haul away a Ticats win from Canad Inns Stadium.
The Bombers (2-9), on a four-game losing streak, will host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-7) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Canad Inns Stadium. The Ticats have won just one of their last six games.
"I'll shake his hand before the game. Buck and I go way back to B.C. and it's good to see him back out there, I'm always rooting for him and want to see him do well. But when we're opponents, not so much," said Tiger-Cats linebacker Jamall Johnson, who was with the B.C. Lions in 2005-2008 when Pierce was also with B.C.
"We've had a good week at practice behind us and we'll try to go on the field and confuse him when he's back there, get some pressure on him and get some hits when they're available."
The Tiger-Cats will bring their own offensive weapons in quarterback Henry Burris, the CFL's second-leading passer with who has thrown a league-leading 27 touchdown passes, and receiver Chris Williams, who has already set a CFL single-season record for return touchdowns with six (five punt return TDs and one missed FG return TD) and leads the league in touchdowns with 12.
"To me, he (Williams) is the most dangerous man in the CFL," Burris said. "The guy makes things happen.
"He may not be the biggest or the strongest guy but he finds a way. He must be a geometry major because he knows angles well. He knows how to contort his body to find a way or will himself through the smallest holes. When he gets that first step on you, you're not going to catch him."
It seems the Ticats, media and fans have been trying to come up with a nickname for the 5-foot-9, 155-pound Williams but haven't gotten one to stick yet.
"I call him 'Ticat for a day' because when I first met him, I thought, 'who is this guy, did he win a prize or something to be a Ticat or in training camp for a day?'" laughed Burris. "But once he got the ball in his hands, he showed you why he was definitely a part of this team and a big reason why we were going to have success whenever the ball is in his hands."
Williams, who also had "Liquid" suggested to him by Ticats president Scott Mitchell, wasn't as big of a fan of Burris's idea.
"I don't like Hank's," Williams said, smiling. "That one needs to get thrown out."