Pierce determined to bring success to Bombers

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:23 AM ET

Buck Pierce is going to remain in Winnipeg this winter, continuing his commitment to the city and to the Blue Bombers.

All he wants is for the franchise to return the favour.

The injury-prone quarterback started just five games for the Blue and Gold this season but finished only two. He suffered a knee injury in Week 3 that forced him to miss four games and then dislocated his throwing elbow in the Labour Day Classic, ending yet another of his frustrating campaigns prematurely.

Pierce said his elbow “feels really, really good” and he can’t wait to give it another go in 2011.

“This is what I want more than anything, and hopefully that’s what they want as well,” Pierce said. “I’m going to do everything in my ability to put myself in a position to have this organization be successful and be where it should be.”

The CFL is a quarterback driven league, and the fact the Bombers started four gunslingers this season is part of the reason why they finished with a 4-14 record.

Making matters more complicated is that none of the four, either due to injury or their play, grabbed the starting job, meaning the most important position on the field will once again be a huge question mark going into next season.

“No one guy stood up and took the position,” head coach Paul LaPolice said. “The one thing is we think there’s some talent there. But yeah, it’d be a much easier scenario if a guy played 18 games and was the guy, but that doesn’t happen a lot in this league.”

Pierce, who will turn 29 on Nov. 15, was 1-3 as the quarterback of record. Backup Steven Jyles, despite posting decent statistics, was 3-9, and fourth-stringer Joey Elliott was 0-2. No. 3 Alex Brink started one game but didn’t get the decision.

“I want to be here,” said Brink, who will spend his off-season in Oregon. “I love the organization. I love the offence. We’ve got a lot of good days ahead of us.

“I’m a competitor. I want to play. I feel like I can offer us a chance to win, so I want to come up in training camp and show that.”

The Bombers can afford to bring back both Pierce and Jyles next season, as Pierce will have a base salary in the neighbourhood of $125,000. Jyles is scheduled to make slightly less than that, and only one of them, of course, can earn the starter bonus for each game.

Pierce sounds like someone who isn’t going to take no for an answer.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to be that guy that they need,” he said. “And that is what I think that they do need.”

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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