CFL Blitz: Blue Bombers face tough off-season decision on Buck Pierce

Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce speaks to media about his head injury at McPhillips Street...

Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce speaks to media about his head injury at McPhillips Street Station Casino in Winnipeg, Man., Oct. 2, 2012. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:58 PM ET

When baseball teams are looking for an ace pitcher, theyíre wanting that innings-eater to finish about 25% of his games.

When football teams are looking for a starting quarterback, they expect him to play complete games with every start.

So when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers make the decision as to who will lead the team as general manager, the biggest move that person must make is whether the club goes with an ace pitcher or a starting QB.

There is no question Buck Pierce has the tools to be an elite pivot in the CFL, but eventually, it gets tiring watching him leave games early due to injuries.

If it was just one chronic injury, it would be understandable. If he had one bad shoulder or bad knee, then you could forgive him.

When Pierce left Saturdayís game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Bombers were sunk, and it was due to a right shoulder injury that heís never really had before.

In seven starts this CFL season, Pierce left four of them with injury. Heís the type of talent that drives coaches crazy because they are tantalized by his performance when heís healthy and frustrated when heís not.

Itís time for the Bombers to look elsewhere, much as the B.C. Lions did when they let Pierce go after the 2009 season. The Lions then turned to Casey Printers before finally discovering Travis Lulay.

Speaking of the Lions at QB, the interesting name likely to be on the free-agent this off-season is Mike Reilly, the backup pivot in B.C.

The main argument for the Bombers to keep Pierce is they have no better alternatives, but the Lions didnít have one either at the time they cut him loose.

Itís time the decision gets made, no matter how painful. If they donít, it will be the same story next season.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNIanBusby


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