October 4, 2012
Buck Pierce out, Joey Elliott in for Blue BombersPierce will miss Monday's game with concussion
By JIM BENDER, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - So, the 3-10 Blue Bombers will start a guy who may have set some sort of record by throwing three interceptions into the endzone in one quarter in his last outing against the top team in the CFL East this weekend.
You could hear the Alouettes start sharpening their carving knives as soon as they heard that Joey Elliott will replace concussed Buck Pierce at quarterback in Montreal on Thanksgiving Monday.
In fact, Montreal Gazette reporter Herb Zurkowsky tweeted that the Als “defence catches another break. Concussed Wpg QB Buck Pierce to sit Monday. Replaced by Joey Elliott. Als should pitch a shutout.”
Elliott did not appear fazed, though.
“That’s between him and trying to create some media attention,” he suggested. “I don’t know how many followers he has but, to him and all his followers: We’ll see what happens.”
Elliott, however, failed to lead the Winnipeg offence to a single point when he replaced Pierce, who was experiencing concussion-like symptoms, to start the second half of a 29-10 loss to the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday. Three of his passes were picked off in the endzone in the fourth quarter.
“It was a learning curve,” said Elliott, who did complete 20 of 30 passes for 173 yards. “You know, we only had two possessions in the third quarter and we started on the 10 yard-line and the two yard-line, and we had two successful drives, even though we didn’t score.
“In the fourth quarter, we got a little bit out of the game and we got pass-happy. That’s what’s gonna happen. The first (pick) was a back-breaker to (Clarence) Denmark. I wish I could have had that one back. When the ball leaves my hand, it’s my job to adjust and try to get it to him as best as possible. The other two (interceptions) were just trying to get the ball into the endzone near the end of the game. For example, the last play of the game, I could have checked it down — there were two guys wide open for five yards but they would have gotten tackled and not scored a touchdown. So, I threw the ball into the endzone and tried to make a play.”
But those picks certainly didn’t shake his confidence.
“As a quarterback, you’ve always got to take bumps and bruises as you go along,” said Elliott, who has completed 117 of 193 passes for 1,356 yards and two touchdowns — with seven picks — for a 70.2 efficiency rating this season. “You’ve got to pick yourself up and execute one play at a time … If it’s an interception or a fumble, as a quarterback, you’ve got to have a short memory and move forward.”
This will also give the Bombers another look at Elliott as a possible starter in the near future.
“Hopefully, Joey gets a little bit better this week, and we’ll change the package a little bit in order to suit him, as opposed to Buck,” said Bombers interim head coach Tim Burke. “Hopefully, he’ll have a good game for us.”
Pierce will miss the game because he did not pass the necessary concussion tests.
“Buck will not be the starting quarterback this week, it’s been determined through a collaboration of data from our medical people,” Burke said. “Whether he suits up next week or not is up to them, obviously.
“It’s really close but I’m not gonna get into the predictions of when he’s gonna come back. Hopefully, it will be next week.”
Pierce was on the practice field but did not practise on a cold, snowblown Thursday. But the Bombers refused to make him available to the media, for some reason.
But now, it’s time for Elliott to talk with his arm.