There’s no place like home
Who says in the world of sports that you can’t go back home?
Following his four-year career at New Mexico State University, Pierce was nabbed by the Lions as a free agent in 2005 as a security blanket for starter Dave Dickenson and second stringer Casey Printers.
Over the next five years, Pierce’s journey with the Leos was similar to the rickety old roller coaster at Playland; not only filled with exciting moments, but also ones of hesitation and concern.
After holding the clipboard in 2005, Pierce spent the next four years alternating between starter and backup, teaming with Dickensen, Printers, Jarious Jackson and Travis Lulay. Depending on how one looks at it, the peak of Pierce’s first stint with the Lions came as part of the 2006 Grey Cup Championship team, a year in which while he did finish 5-1 as a starter — he predominantly played the backup role.
With a slew of injuries on his resume, Pierce was placed on the free agent list in 2010 — a decision that allowed the Bombers to pick up the young but experienced QB, with hopes that he would revive the Winnipeg franchise. Unfortunately, despite being a fan favorite, Pierce spent more time on the sidelines with injuries than he did on the field; a story that seemed similar to his time in BC.
Although coaches almost always say that players will rarely lose their jobs due to injury, the opposite is usually the case, as opportunity opens its door to the next best thing. In Winnipeg’s case, it would be two young and healthy QBs Justin Goltz and Max Hall.
So what to do with Pierce? With an under-achieving group of individuals able to catch the ball, the Bombers decided to go with their young hurlers and improve their receiving core by trading the Kansas native back to BC for 26-year-old receiver Akeem Foster.
In return, the Lions bring in some depth to their pivot position, bringing in a veteran QB who can step up and deal with pressure situations; something that current backups Thomas DeMarco and Chris Hart are still in the process of learning.
Whether or not Pierce actually sees significant time on the field is a question in itself. However, having the experience along the sidelines and in the locker room can only help in the Lions’ quest to return to the Grey Cup.
An expectation by both the fans and the organization.