Welcome Back Buck
When the B.C. Lions released third-string quarterback Joey Elliott, it was clear that GM Wally Buono was not happy with the depth behind Travis Lulay. Backup Thomas DeMarco hasn’t had much opportunity to prove his worth, and rookie Chris Hart hadn’t even dressed in a game until Saturday.
It was clear that a veteran was needed and that’s exactly what Buono got.
The Lions acquired quarterback Buck Pierce from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in exchange for wide receiver Akeem Foster. The trade seems to benefit both teams, and both players are in desperate need of a fresh start.
In Buck Pierce, the Lions know exactly what they are getting. He came into the league with BC in 2005, and remained with the team until his release after the 2009 season. He had 8,734 yards passing, 48 touchdown passes, and was 21-12-1 as a starter for BC.
Pierce was beloved by fans, despite his injury issues, for his determination and toughness. With the uncertainty surrounding the Blue Bombers and their odd handling of their quarterbacks, Pierce should welcome a return to the Lions.
Foster was very successful in 2011 and 2012. He put up nearly 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns over those years. However, this season, Foster seemed to be the odd man out among non-import receivers Shawn Gore, Marco Iannuzzi, Paris Jackson, and Seydou Junior Haydara. In Winnipeg, Foster can make an impact on a team that lacks offensive fire power.
Pierce’s Role In BC
There will be no quarterback controversy in BC. Travis Lulay is the guy, and as long as he’s healthy, expect to see Pierce standing on the sideline sporting a ball cap with a clipboard in hand. As a nine-year veteran, Pierce has a wealth of experience and will certainly share that experience with Lulay.
The big question mark surrounding Pierce is his physical stability. I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many injuries he’s suffered over the years, so limiting his game reps will be very important for his health. Most backup quarterbacks handle the short-yardage duties, but I wouldn’t expect him to fill that role. That would basically be asking for an injury, so expect DeMarco to continue running the short-yardage plays.
I think this is a great pickup by Buono. In the middle of the season, if you bring in a quarterback who has to be taught the entire offense, or even the CFL rulebook, he’ll be in tough spot to fit in.
With Pierce, however, it’s the opposite. He knows Chapdelaine’s offence, he is comfortable with the coaching staff and several players played with him in the past.
He should be able to step in right away and help the team in whatever way he can.
He likely won’t play all that much, and I hope he doesn’t have to. Lulay is our best quarterback and a team leader, and losing him long term would be devastating. But if and when his number is called, Pierce will have a good chance to prove his naysayers wrong and help the Lions win games.