Healthy Pierce still won't start for Bombers
By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency
|Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce will not start Friday in Calgary. (Olivier Jean/Reuters/Files)
WINNIPEG - Quarterback Buck Pierce is healthy, but won’t get the call Friday to break the Winnipeg Blue Bombers three-game losing in Calgary.
Interim head coach Tim Burke says there’s not enough time to get Pierce ready, so Joey Elliott will make a fifth straight start
“It’s too short a week for him to get ready,” Burke said today of Pierce. “He hasn’t had enough reps. As far as health goes, he could play. We want to have the best people out there we can. But it’s just not fair to Buck to put him in that situation, with one day of preparation to try to go out there and get us a W. The best thing for him and the team is one more week.”
Burke’s comments suggest the Bombers, off today, will have a light day Tuesday, leaving just one full day of prep for Friday’s game against the Stamps.
So Elliott, who hasn’t got the Winnipeg offence into the end zone for nine straight quarters, will lead the 2-8 Bombers against the 6-4 Stampeders in a place they haven’t won in 10 years.
In Sunday’s 25-24 loss to Saskatchewan, Winnipeg failed to score in six trips inside the Riders’ 30-yard line.
Burke says play-calling has been part of the problem.
“We’re probably taking too many shots into the end zone and not getting enough yards underneath and trying to get it in two shots instead of one,” he said, referring to rookie offensive co-ordinator Gary Crowton’s calls.
“The other thing, and I told Gary this, when we’re down on the nine-yard line, I don’t think a speed sweep’s a very good call down there.”
Burke also pointed to missed blocks and bad throws as reasons the Bombers didn’t score an offensive major, Sunday.
He reiterated his regret at deciding to punt instead of attempt a field goal in the last minute, and added he should have been more aggressive on defence on Saskatchewan’s game-winning drive.
“I wish I would have come after the quarterback more in that situation,” Burke said.
Winnipeg will make at least one lineup change, with backup running back Carl Volny (ACL) returning, and defensive back Johnny Sears “probable.”