Blue Bomber Report Record: 4–1–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Buck where he belongs

Retired QB adapting to new role on football field, but enjoying the familiar feelings

  • Print

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Life couldn't be more familiar -- or more different -- for Buck Pierce right now.

The longtime former CFL quarterback -- and much beloved Bombers alumnus -- has been on the football field this week at Bombers mini-camp, just like he's been every spring at this time for as long as he can remember.

The difference this year -- and it's monumental -- is Pierce has swapped a helmet for a ball cap and the football for a clipboard as he takes his first few awkward steps into retirement as the Bombers new running back coach.

"It's been an adjustment for sure," Pierce said Monday. "It's a learning process for me. But for me, it's about teaching and about learning. And as a former quarterback, I think I've got that in me -- to help people along and to teach them.

'I still love football. It's been such a huge part of my life... I love still being out here and around the guys. It keeps me competitive. And when you talk to guys who've retired about what they miss most, it's always the competition. They miss the daily grind of competing'

-- Buck Pierce

"But I'm not going to lie, it is hard for me, just because it's so fresh. All these running backs are like, 'You just retired?' They have all these questions about my career and the league and all of that stuff."

When Pierce announced his retirement last winter after a nine-year CFL career, it seemed logical he would begin his coaching career in Winnipeg, where he has settled and is about to marry a local woman.

But what didn't seem quite so logical is a man who'd never played any position other than quarterback would be hired as the running backs coach, leading some to speculate that while Pierce is nominally in charge of Winnipeg's running backs, he will also have a lot of input on the quarterbacks in 2014.

Not so, says Pierce, who insists that task remains the exclusive domain of offensive co-ordinator Marcel Bellefeuille and quarterbacks coach Gene Dahlquist.

"Those guys have worked with quarterbacks for a lot longer than I have," said Pierce. "I've played the position, but my responsibility on this team is to get the guys in the backfield right. But I do have some advantages because being an ex-quarterback allows me to expand on the offence to these guys. I don't want our running backs to have tunnel vision. I want to give them the big picture of the offence as the quarterback sees it."

After helping lead the Bombers to the Grey Cup game in 2011, Pierce's last two seasons in the CFL were marked by injuries, bench time and disappointment, culminating in a trade back to the B.C. Lions midway through last season.

All of which demands the question: Any lingering sense of unfinished business now that your career is over?

"No, I can't feel that way," said Pierce. "Obviously, physically I still feel like I can go out there and play. And mentally, that feeling just doesn't go away. But you know what? I'm happy. I'm happy with this role and blessed to be able to do this for a living still and come out here and coach and watch these guys grow and learn.

"I get tons of satisfaction from that... I still love football. It's been such a huge part of my life, but I have a lot of learning still to do on this side of the ball and I'm really looking forward to that. I'm wide-eyed and open-minded right now and just picking everyone's brain to make me a better coach in the long haul.

"I love still being out here and around the guys. It keeps me competitive. And when you talk to guys who've retired about what they miss most, it's always the competition. They miss the daily grind of competing."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 15, 2014 D1

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.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jaws of life used to free two people after two-car collision

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese take cover in long grass in the Tuxedo Business Park near Route 90 Wednesday- Day 28– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

 

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google