Bombers ready to take care of business

Fans greet Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce as he arrives at the International Airport...

Fans greet Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce as he arrives at the International Airport in Vancouver, British Columbia November 22, 2011. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will play the B.C. Lions at B.C. Place in the CFL's 99th Grey Cup on Sunday. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

Kirk Penton, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:12 AM ET

VANCOUVER - It was clear from Deon Beasley’s haircut that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers mean business this week.

When the team arrived in rainy Vancouver on Tuesday night the second-year cornerback had a new look. Shaved into most of the back of his head was none other than the Bomber logo itself.

It’s crystal clear that Beasley, who will get the start at cornerback in place of an injured Brandon Stewart, is all in this week as Winnipeg prepares to battle the host B.C. Lions in the 99th Grey Cup at B.C. Place. It appears his teammates will be, too, as the Blue and Gold were dressed to the nines, looking like they were on a business trip, when they strolled through the security gates at the Vancouver airport.

A small but loud group of Bomber fans were there to greet them.

“It was like this when we left Winnipeg, and I’m not really surprised that it was like this when we got here,” said B.C. native Doug Brown, the Bombers star defensive tackle. “We are a community-owned team, and the community definitely gets involved with this, and you can tell that they do feel ownership with this team, and that’s outstanding.

“The sendoff was just like the arrival, and it’s pretty exciting for all of us.”

Bombers defensive back said Vancouver can expect to experience something new with the Bombers hanging around town for five days.

“You gonna see a lot of swag goin’ around,” Hefney said. “That’s what we call ourselves, right? It’s a bunch of young guys out here ready to have fun and ready to play football.”

Quarterback Buck Pierce, who spent the first five years of his CFL career with the Lions, admitted landing in Vancouver made the situation more real for him.

“This is a great scenario for us, and two good teams playing on Sunday. I’m thrilled,” Pierce said, his head phones around his neck and his shades resting on his head. “I have a lot of history with the Lions, and it’s a place where I got my first opportunities.

“It’s good to come back. I have a lot of ties here still and just so much respect for the Lions organization. It’s a good feeling to be coming back and playing them.”

The Bombers and Lions both feature topnotch defences, but the Lions are favoured by nearly a touchdown after winning 11 of their last 12 games. Lions defensive back Korey Banks on Tuesday expanded on Dante Marsh’s sentiments from Sunday that the Lions boast the best defence.

“If you think about it, mano a mano, going across the board, who would you take on their defence over someone on our defence?” Banks told The Province. “I can't think of one of them. That’s not a shot at them. But I’d rather have my guys.”

First overall draft choice Henoc Muamba was his usual, laid-back self as he waited for his suitcase to appear on the baggage carousel. He did not appear to be affected by Grey Cup fever.

“It’s a huge game on a huge stage,” the rookie linebacker said. “Everybody’s following this game in Canada. We got a lot of supporters in Winnipeg and a lot of supporters out here in Vancouver as well. We’re really happy to be at this stage right now, but there’s still one goal to do right now and that’s getting that Cup.”

The Bombers will hit the practice field at B.C. Place on Wednesday morning after LaPolice and B.C.’s Wally Buono conduct the annual coaches’ press conference.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/PentonKirk

 


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