December 10, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Buck Pierce said his farewells, shook some hands and then made a quick exit from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the B.C. Lions.
And then the man who partly pulled the trigger on the trade that sent the former Bombers’ No. 1 gun to the Lions for Canadian receiver Akeem Foster -- acting GM Kyle Walters – took to the podium and left little doubt that he is far from done in making over the last-place, 2-8 club.
"What this states is we’re moving on from Buck and we’re going in a different direction with the younger guys," said Walters, moments after thanking Pierce for his service to the team and the community. "We had five quarterbacks under contract and it was very difficult to get guys reps and moving forward it just didn’t seem fair to all of them, from a rep distribution and from an evaluation standpoint to get a fair look at that. We decided we were going to commit to the younger guys and go from there.
"But it would (also) be foolish for the organization not to explore all options come December as to how to upgrade all positions – especially at the most-important position on the field, which is the quarterback position. If we think we can upgrade that spot, then we will."
Interestingly, less than an hour after speaking to the media, Walters made another deal official by landing veteran Canadian offensive lineman Marc Parenteau and a 2014 third-round pick from the Toronto Argonauts for Canadian running back Anthony Woodson and a fifth-round pick.
The deal leaves the Bombers with four pivots now under contract: Justin Goltz, Max Hall, Jason Boltus and Levi Brown. What it also does is add an experienced 26-year-old Canadian receiver who could start as early as this weekend in Edmonton.
"It’s sound philosophy in the CFL when you get a chance to add to your Canadian talent base, particularly at your starting positions you do it to promote depth and competition," said Walters. "We had four Canadian receivers penciled in on the dress roster breaking training camp and we’ve just really struggled keeping all of them healthy at the same time. That’s the reason and the logic behind the trade."
Pierce, meanwhile, spoke to the media for over 15 minutes this morning and took the time to thank everyone in the organization and the community for his time in Winnipeg. He then shook hands with members of the press before leaving.
"I was given an opportunity when a lot of people didn’t give me an opportunity to come in here and be a part of something that was great," said Pierce of his days as a Bomber. "I’m truly blessed to have had the opportunity to have donned the Blue Bomber uniform for four seasons.
"Football aside, it’s been a great thing for me to be here in the city and be involved in this community. I can’t thank the fan base and the organization enough for what they’ve done for me and my family. I also wanted to say that Winnipeg is my home and it’s a place that I want to be and I will be here in the off-season and call it home. Hopefully some day in the future I can be back in some aspect of the organization."
Updated on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 1:15 PM CDT:
Bombers add Canadian offensive lineman Marc Parenteau to the roster.