Pierce should be good to go Tuesday: LaPolice

Bombers quarterbacks Alex Brink (left) and Buck Pierce confer Monday. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

Bombers quarterbacks Alex Brink (left) and Buck Pierce confer Monday. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:21 PM ET

WINNIPEG - The weekly quarterback watch began in familiar fashion on Monday in Bomberland.

Backup Alex Brink was leading the first-team offence, while starter Buck Pierce played the role of spectator.

Pierce, who left Thursday’s game early in the fourth quarter, had his injured left calf heavily wrapped and didn’t take part in any drills — but that doesn’t mean he won’t be behind centre when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday in a battle of first-place teams at Canad Inns Stadium.

“Buck will practice (Tuesday),” Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice said. “We gave him mental reps today and a lot of massage on (his calf). Hopefully, he’ll be fine (Tuesday).”

THE TALKING-TO: Early in practice Monday, LaPolice pulled his team in and gave them a stern talking-to.

“I didn’t think our (starters) were bad but I didn’t think our second group was producing, so I let them all know that we have to practise better,” said LaPolice. “After two days off you have to come back refocused. No team in this league can have a bad practice. We cleaned it up after that.”

Despite a 4-1 record, LaPolice doesn’t see complacency trickling into the locker room.

“I haven’t really seen it — I don’t think this young crew is that (overconfident) crew and hopefully the leaders keep pushing them to work hard,” he said. “It’s a message we hammer away every day, I hope that’s not an issue. It shouldn’t be.”

INCREASED RESPONSIBILITIES: With the passing of Richard Harris, LaPolice said the Bombers will have Casey Creehan and Markus Howell handle the front seven rather than bring in a new defensive line and assistant head coach.

“Markus will take on a much larger role with the linebackers,” said LaPolice. “We’re very fortunate with Markus Howell, not many guys can make the transition from playing in the CFL to coaching. Our players and our coaches, since Day 1 of training camp, have been very impressed with him. He’s very capable. He’s like having a guy who has coached in this league for a long time.”

NEW BLOOD: The Bombers added a body to the practice roster on Monday, bringing in import linebacker Dustin Doe.

Doe, 23, spent his NCAA career with the Florida Gators and was part of two NCAA BCS championships (2006 and 2008). He was a starter during his final season and finished with 188 tackles, two sacks and an interception.

Prior to joining the Bombers he spent time in the Southern Indoor Football League with the Columbus Lions.


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