WINNIPEG - Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice did not look or sound worried about his starting quarterback situation when Winnipeg plays host to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL East Final this Sunday.
School may still be out on whether Buck Pierce gets the nod but the Bombers would probably have to keep him under lock and key to keep him off the field.
Pierce practised for the first time Tuesday since suffering a sprained right knee, wearing a knee brace.
"I feel good. I feel good," Pierce repeated. "It's been a few weeks of solid rehab and it's been progressing very good. I feel like I can do everything. Obviously, it's not up to me, but I feel good Ö I feel like I can do everything I need to do with limited aggravation. I'm very confident in it right now."
Pierce would likely play on crutches if necessary.
"Probably, but I don't have to," he said. "I feel really good. Like I said, I've tested it all weekend and tested it (Tuesday) and obviously, I'll do more and more everyday but I feel really good."
Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice, however, was not about to declare Pierce the starter just yet.
"Buck is our starter and if he can play, he'll play and if he can't play after the next three days of practice, we'll play our second-stringer, Alex (Brink)," LaPolice said. "I just have to see him move around, see his ability to move and function.
"(Tuesday) was a starter. I thought he threw the ball well, that's a start. I thought he saw things well but I don't want him to be vulnerable in the pocket. We'll make that determination after the reps he gets in the next few days."
LaPolice must feel more comfortable after Brink played so well after a slow start in Calgary in the last game of the regular season. But the Bombers do believe that Pierce has the best chance to lead them to the Grey Cup in Vancouver.
So does Pierce.
"I feel that I am that winner and I think people realize that," he said. "It's a game (East Final) for us to go out and make a statement. We've put ourselves into this position all year and we need to put a statement together now. I'm proud of what we've done and now, it's time to put everything together and I feel that we will do that.
"I have all the confidence in the world in myself. Everybody knows what kind of player I am and knows that I'm a winner and I'm going to go out and be the same player I've always been.
"The last few weeks, I've been getting ready for this point. I did some stuff today and will do more to tomorrow and I feel really good."