Overcast

Winnipeg, MB

18°c Overcast

Full Forecast

Bomber Report

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Better teammates, coaches make Buck better in B.C.

Posted: 10/29/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 10/29/2013 12:50 PM | Updates

Advertisement

  • Print

With the way things have gone this season at the quarterbacking position, it makes perfect sense the pivot traded away seven weeks ago would put together his best body of work in the last four years at the helm of another football team.

In case you missed it on Friday, Buck Pierce came off the bench for the B.C. Lions and single-handedly propelled them to victory over the Edmonton Eskimos.

Pierce ran the football for first downs and touchdowns. He threw blocks downfield on multiple occasions to spring his ball carrier, and instead of taking sacks he escaped and improvised with shovel passes. He hit his receivers in stride and in only three quarters of work, he led the Lions to four scores on his first five possessions.

In short, he was everything the Bombers wanted and needed him to be this season, but he was somewhere else.

In fact, it was such a convincing performance, you didn't have to wait long for the threads to appear on the Internet, questioning why this team traded away the best quarterback on the roster in the first place.

Before we start second-guessing ourselves, though, we must first address the audacity of Wally Buono, former head coach and current GM of the Lions. When the Bombers initially landed Pierce from the Leos, after the 2009 season, Buono had seen enough of Buck. Due to a legacy of injuries and trauma he incurred in B.C., he publicly questioned not only whether Pierce should be playing professional football at all anymore, but parted ways with him without any compensation.

Fast forward a couple seasons, and after beating Pierce -- and us -- in the Grey Cup in 2011, Buono watched Pierce struggle with both his health and his on-field performance in 2012, and again in 2013, including a stanza where he fell to the bottom of the depth chart.

So what did Buono do? Naturally, King Midas traded for the QB that three years ago he gave up for nothing, and, of course, it is working out perfectly and making him look like an even bigger genius than his reputation already suggests.

So why the sudden change of heart by Pierce's old ball coach? Because Wally no longer needs Buck to be what Winnipeg needed him to be.

Buono has three pivots in B.C. he knows can play. One is his franchise QB who is hurt (Travis Lulay), another is the work in progress (Thomas DeMarco), and Pierce is now the stop gap. Buono doesn't need Buck to start 18 games for him, or even play every quarter in the games he does play. He needs Buck to be a temporary measure when the situation calls for it, which he did so very elegantly in the Lions last win.

Add to this mix a better offensive line, superior wide receivers, running backs, and coaching, and Buck is certain to look better than he ever could have here.

As we all know, when Pierce is a healthy Buck, he can play with most anybody. And when you don't need him on a week in and week out basis, and only use him in spurts, he is the perfect guy for the job. When you ask him to be your No. 1 for 18 weeks, like Winnipeg was forced to in 2010 through most of 2013, he has shown he won't be able to withstand the rigours of a full season of hard knocks.

Going into the final week of the regular season, where it seems like the Bombers are forced to choose between a badly hurt QB, and just a bad QB, it is salt in a festering wound to see a player that wanted to stay here, play so well somewhere else.

While many of us wish Buck the best, and even hope that he goes on a tear with the Lions and wins a second Grey Cup, the Bombers need a Travis Lulay and a Thomas DeMarco on their roster before they can ever entertain the idea of having a player like Pierce again.

 

Doug Brown, once a hard-hitting defensive lineman and frequently a hard-hitting columnist, appears Tuesdays and the days following game days in the Free Press.

Twitter: @DougBrown97

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2013 C6

History

Updated on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:50 PM CDT: Switched picture.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.