Great time to be Blue

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:56 PM ET

Read into it what you want but Buck Pierce was the only one of the four quarterbacks in town since last week who was brought to a Winnipeg media scrum on the eve of rookie camp Tuesday.

“I’m very excited,” said the former B.C. Lions signal-caller, who has spent the last couple of weeks settling into his new surroundings here. “It’s an exciting time of year for everybody, I think — for the CFL and the city of Winnipeg. There’s so much optimism around this organization right now, for a player coming in, it’s a great feeling.

“It’s going to be a very competitive camp. That’s all you can ask for and, as a player who is new to the organization, competition in camp is essential and it’s a great time to be a Winnipeg Blue Bomber.”

Pierce will battle for the starting spot with former Saskatchewan Roughrider Steven Jyles, returnee Adam Di-Michele and Alex Brink.

Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice was Saskatchewan’s offensive co-ordinator last season so Jyles should be familiar with his offensive system.

“He’s got an edge but some other guys, like Buck Pierce, might have an edge because he’s played more football,” LaPolice said. “Each guy has a little advantage but time will tell on the field.”

TRADE STANDS: LaPolice confirmed that Stan van Sichem, the non-import obtained in the trade that sent veteran import defensive end Gavin Walls to Montreal, has been released because the Bombers feared that van Sichem would not be able to pass Wednesday’s physical.

“And we didn’t want to put ourselves in jeopardy, so we released him,” LaPolice said.

But that will not change the deal with the Alouettes because there were no conditions on the trade, said Bombers assistant GM Ross Hodgkinson.

LaPolice also confirmed that non-import offensive lineman Derek Armstrong, who had been acquired in a multi-player deal with Calgary last season, is planning to retire.

“He’s making money in the oil fields,” LaPolice said. “We’re just trying to get him to put the (retirement) information in. It’s unfortunate because he’s a talented player. We thought he was a real physical kid and had some good ability but … we’ve got some good Canadian depth at the offensive line. We knew that was happening, so we got some offensive lineman depth the last couple of weeks to make sure we’re covered.”

ANOTHER GUN: The Bombers have added Winnipeg Rifles receiver Yembeh Moiba to their rookie/training camp roster.

“He can run and he’s an intelligent kid,” LaPolice said. “We’ll put him in sparingly so he can learn our system and also save some legs. I think it’s good for the Rifles and I think it’s good for the Bombers.”

NEW DB: The Bombers added import defensive back Alex Suber to their rookie camp roster Tuesday. The 5-foot-7, 177-pound Middle Tennessee State product recorded 57 tackles and two interceptions in his senior year.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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