Pierce 'indebted' to CFL

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo set the all-time pro record for passing yardage (72,381), then stood outside the Alouettes locker and told reporters how much it meant to him to be welcomed to play in Canada.

Calvillo lives year-round in Montreal with his wife, whom he met there, and family, and the American plans to remain there once his CFL playing days are done.

Winnipeg QB Buck Pierce can relate.

“This game gives a lot of players an opportunity to make a living and play the game that they love and for the ones who take advantage of those opportunities, you’re almost indebted to this league,” Pierce said Tuesday. “You feel responsible to give back and feel fortunate to be able to play this great game … I’ve had seven years of my career here and I call Canada my home, and the opportunities that were given me here are unbelievable.”

And yes, he was impressed with Calvillo’s milestone.

“Unbelievable landmark. Unbelievable quarterback,” he said. “He’s a guy who I’ve looked up to every year I’ve been here. I’ve studied him in the off-season and watch what he does. And the person he is as an ambassador of this league speaks volumes for his character.

“He’s obviously a smart player. He understands the game very, very well. He’s been in the league a long time and with longevity comes experience. He’s seen every situation possible. I heard his times in Las Vegas and Hamilton were learning experiences, and he’s learned from those and has matured into one of the best quarterbacks of all time.”

RIBS OK: Pierce, by the way, said there was no further damage done to his bruised ribs during the Bombers’ 33-17 victory over the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton.

“I feel good,” said Pierce, who practised in pink to help raise awareness for cancer. “It’s obviously something that I have to take care of and treat every day, but I feel good.”

Although DB Alex Suber missed Tuesday’s practice to attend an appointment, head coach Paul LaPolice said he is OK. In fact, the whole team emerged from the Hamilton game relatively intact.

DEALING: The ’Cats sent veteran import receiver Maurice Mann to the Toronto Argonauts for defensive back Dee Webb and a 2013 conditional draft pick Tuesday. The CFL trade deadline is Wednesday at 2:59 p.m.

HOME STRETCH: The Bombers head into the home stretch tied with Montreal atop the East standings. They play in Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto at home, then Calgary away.

“We have to win,” Pierce said. “We’ve got four games left and if we want to be first in the East, we’ve got to win these four games.”

LaPolice concurred.

“We control our own destiny,” he said. “We want to separate ourselves from everyone else in the league.”


Videos

Photos