WINNIPEG- Buck Pierce spent his first two seasons as an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in charge of the running backs. But the off-season departure of Gene Dahlquist opened the door for Pierce to move into the coaching shoes that fit him best, and as the Bombers get set to embark on the 2016 CFL season, Pierce is the man who is getting their quarterbacks prepared for the 18-game grind. And as the Bombers move through the early stages of training camp, he couldn’t be happier or more excited.
“Obviously it feels great. Having Paul (Lapolice) here, that familiar voice in the room that I’m used to makes it even better. He’ll call on me throughout meetings and say, Hey Buck, how did you see this here, how did you read this when you ran this kind of play.” Pierce said. “That communication and relationship is huge for us in the room. But I feel great, I feel great working with those guys and we continue to build relationships in the quarterback room and build for the season. I’m excited for the season and I do like the group that I have. I like our skill set, everybody’s a bit different and at different levels in their career but they are all extremely competitive and wanting to work.”
Nobody will be unseating Drew Willy as the Bombers starting quarterback and Matt Nichols is solid as the backup. The real battle is for the number three spot between Dominique Davis and Bryan Bennett.
Pierce, who played quarterback for 9 CFL seasons, has high praise for Willy. “When you look at Drew as a quarterback, I put him up there with the really good ones in the league as far as a passing quarterback. He can throw the ball as well as anybody, he’s always on balance, he has great pocket prescence, he is growing into the leader he needs to be for us to be successful and I’m excited to work with him on that. Now it’s just, with the new offence, you have so much information, it’s filing the information down and processing things before the ball is snapped to where you have an idea of where you want to go with the ball right away. The quarterback is like a point guard in basketball, your job is to distribute the ball in space, let our guys make plays for you and put us in good situations, manage the game and score points. Each day he is getting better and better at processing information quicker” said Pierce.
Watching Pierce on the practice field is watching a man who is thoroughly enjoying himself, working with the players he can most closely relate to.