WINNIPEG Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce has been, from all reports, in a foul mood all week.
Besieged by linemen on the field and by criticism of his play off of it, Pierce has been strictly business this week. Until, that is, the subject of Brett Carter -- the Bombers' feel-good story of 2013 -- came up during Pierce's pre-game media availability on Thursday.
Asked for his thoughts on the Bombers adding the 20-year-old Winnipeg Rifles player to the club's 42-man roster for tonight's contest against the Toronto Argonauts, Pierce broke into a warm smile and his eyes lit up.
"You see him put that jersey on today and I'm sure a bunch of you guys talked to him -- what a great moment for him," said Pierce. "And I'm excited. Whether he gets on the field or not, it's great accomplishment for him and how hard he's worked to get to this point.
"We're proud of him. And we know he can play. This isn't just something where we're sticking a guy out there because he's done good things in practice. We feel he can make plays."
Carter has shown exceptional pass-catching abilities ever since training camp but is still so young and so green the Bombers brain trust relegated him to the practice roster until Wednesday, when an injury to slotback Cory Watson during practice opened up an emergency spot on the roster.
Carter said he and his father quickly hammered out his first pro contract with Bombers assistant-general manager Kyle Walters late Wednesday afternoon and, by Thursday, he was standing on the field at Investors Group Field, wearing the game jersey of a team he grew up watching.
"I can't put it into words -- it's unreal, I'm just so thankful for this opportunity," Carter said.
Carter was in such high demand by the media on Thursday -- players his age are extremely rare in the CFL and the fact he's a hometown boy is just icing on the cake -- that the Bombers communication staff had Carter appear at the podium in the team's press room (where head coach Tim Burke holds his daily briefing and even Pierce only occassionally appears) instead of just doing his interviews on the field like other players.
With Watson out at least two to four weeks, Carter is hoping this week's appearance on the roster won't be an isolated event. He will not start this week, but will be the first player off the bench in the event of an injury to a receiver.
He says he's been told he might be able to rejoin the Rifles if his stint with the Bombers doesn't work out, but at this point he's hoping tonight's game is just the first of a long pro football career.
"Hopefully, it's more than one game. Hopefully, I can show what I've got," Carter said.