Expect Pierce to be back

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:03 AM ET

WINNIPEG - He may get hurt a lot, and he doesn’t have a contract, but expect quarterback Buck Pierce to be calling the shots for the Blue Bombers again next year.

Winnipeg GM Joe Mack says there’s no doubt what his plans are for Pierce.

“Re-sign him,” Mack told the Sun, Tuesday. “Absolutely. Buck’s a winner. He’s tough. He’s shown times when he can really shine and excel. We probably have to do more to get him in a position where he can consistently be that quarterback we’ve seen at times.”

Pierce, who turns 30 next week, will become a free agent if he’s not signed by the middle of February.

His market value was on the rise early in the season when he helped the Bombers to a 7-1 start, but he posted mediocre final numbers, including the worst efficiency rating among full-time CFL starters.

As the quarterback of record, though, Pierce is an impressive 9-4 this season.

“He’s had some good things,” Mack said. “Kind of like the team, maybe at the tail end he hasn’t been as consistent as he would like, or we would like. But we’ll just try to put him in the most comfortable situations so he has a chance to succeed in the Final.”

Pierce’s status for the East Final, Nov. 20, remains uncertain due to a sprained MCL, although he has proclaimed himself ready to play. He missed two starts this season, including the regular-season finale.

Mack says he’s happy with all his quarterbacks and plans to enter 2012 with the same stable of arms, assuming he can also re-sign Alex Brink, another pending free agent Mack describes as a future CFL starter.

Joey Elliott’s season ended with a knee injury. Justin Goltz and Brandon Summers are the other quarterbacks in camp.


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