|Bombers QB Buck Pierce is expecting a stiff challenge from the Eskimos on Friday. (Ben Pelosse/QMI Agency)
WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers offence took a big step in Week 2, but the man at the controls believes there is still plenty of room for improvement heading into Friday’s game with the Edmonton Eskimos.
Quarterback Buck Pierce threw for 255 yards in last week’s 41-30 loss to the Montreal Alouettes, but the bulk of his completions were into the hands of veteran Terrence Edwards and newcomer Chris Matthews.
That’s led to more pedestrian numbers for Clarence Denmark and Kito Poblah through two weeks, though there’s plenty of time to change that.”
“In Week 1, we didn’t have big numbers from anybody,” said Pierce. “We’d love to to have two 100-yard receivers each week. Those guys will get their stuff, but we were taking what the defence was giving us. It’s not like we were featuring (Edwards and Matthews). With what Montreal was doing, it opened up a lot of stuff.
“We’re going to see a lot more zone this week, so hopefully those other guys will get a bit more involved. We have confidence in all five of our guys. We really like them and the thing about this league is being innovative and finding new ways to get guys the football throughout the season.”
Pierce is expecting a stiff challenge from the Eskimos, who are 1-1 but were beaten 17-1 by the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week.
“We have to control the line of scrimmage and make sure we stay patient,” said Pierce. “They’re a defence that gets pressure with their good front four and they play a lot of different coverages. They’re not a huge man team. They try to disguise three or four different coverages and make quarterbacks throw into coverages and into what they want you to do.
“For us, you take your shots when you can, but be patient and stay out of the bad situations. Look at the first two games, they were able to get Toronto and Saskatchewan into a lot of second-and-longs. If we’re good on first down, I really like our chances.”
The Eskimos struggled last week, but the Blue Bombers aren’t expecting a cake-walk by any means.
“I just know that Saskatchewan put up a lot of points in Week 1 and in Week 2, they didn’t move the ball or run the ball with a lot of success,” said Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice. “And Edmonton, in Week 1, moved the ball and made a lot of plays. Each team has to show up and play. We’ll have our work cut out for us. We’re 0-2 right now. We need to play a complete game.”
LaPolice also revealed that Canadian Nathan Riva will replace Anthony Woodson on the roster this week and he'll be used on special teams and as the backup running back.