lions

The Buck stops here – Pierce returns to the Lions den

Kind of guy you want to root for

Buck Pierce is talented, by all accounts a good teammate, and he’s one of the toughest players on the field.

That last point is particularly impressive given how protected quarterbacks are in the modern-day.

Pierce is the kind of fearless competitor that I don’t doubt would have played at a high level in the era when quarterbacks got hit like every other type of offensive player.

Even opposing teams have to respect his style of play. This is a type of player that is a dying breed.

That being said, I can’t get behind GM Wally Buono’s decision to trade for the perpetually injured signal caller.

Far be it from me to criticize one of the greatest general managers in the history of sports, and certainly the greatest CFL coach of all time, but I don’t quite understand the rationale for re-acquiring the 32-year-old quarterback.

The mantra, with regards to Pierce, used to be “he’s young. Sure he’s been injured a lot, but he’s got so much talent. If he can just stay healthy for a while…”.

32 is not young for a football player, especially one that has been injured for a great deal of his career. Yes, Pierce is talented, but it’s hard to be at the top of one’s game when you are consistently dealing with injuries. That affects a players in-game performance as well as his ability to progress, skill-wise.

Just how many injuries has Pierce had at the CFL level?

buck-pierce-bc-lions.jpg

Is that another head injury Buck? (Photo: winnipegfreepress.com)

Buck Pierce has been forced to leave 23 of 60 career starts with injury, and 26 games total.

This includes three head injuries, three right elbow injuries, five injuries to his right knee, five injuries to his right shoulder, and several other miscellaneous leg, foot, rib and hand injuries.

This isn’t quite as scary as suffering repeated concussions (only two of his head injuries has been officially listed as a concussion, for whatever that’s worth). However, Pierce has injured and re-aggravated the same parts of his body repeatedly.

I can understand wanting to have a veteran back-up quarterback

This is something that the Lions have lacked.

Buck Pierce has to decide at a certain point that his own well-being is more important than playing another year or two.

Dave Dickenson decided against continuing his career, and has moved into coaching. Judging by the impact that Pierce has on his teammates, I don’t think a potential coaching position down the line would be out of the question.

As far as Buono is concerned, by trading for Pierce he may have set himself up well to have first shot at Buck Pierce, coaching assistant.

But in making the trade, which sent disappointing import receiver Akeem Foster to Winnipeg and brought Pierce back to B.C., Wally Buono has taken ownership of the later stages of this injury-plagued quarterback’s career.

I have moderated my criticism here out of respect for Mr. Buono, but I hope that he did some serious soul-searching before agreeing to sign off on this deal.

I for one will be holding my breath whenever number 11 takes the field.

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About Travis Erbacher

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