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The Rouge: What to expect from Bombers' Pierce this season

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Ben Fisher, TSN.ca
6/27/2013 11:29:29 AM
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It's another year and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are once again tying their fate to quarterback Buck Pierce.

Pierce has been the Bombers starting QB the past three seasons, but has played far less than 54 regular season games across that span; the 31-year-old has made 28 appearances in his three seasons in Winnipeg.

There's no doubt if Pierce is healthy the Bombers are a better team - even a contender. But that is likely the biggest ‘if' in the entire league.

Pierce's reckless style of play makes him even more of a target than most quarterbacks. He's missed time with injuries to his knee, elbow, and head during his Bombers' tenure.

For his part, the New Mexico State product said he's feeling healthy and strong heading into the season. Pierce said he knows his health is a hot topic for fans and media, but it's not something he is fixated on. He's also lost 25 pounds this off-season in an attempt to be more agile in the pocket.

Head coach Tim Burke and the rest of the Bombers organization have also stated their faith in the veteran QB, and the team made no moves to add any CFL experience to their backup ranks in the off-season, instead eschewing the only two backups on their roster – Alex Brink and Joey Elliott – to have started multiple games in the league.

Behind Pierce, the Bombers have just Justin Goltz - he of 14 career CFL passing attempts - and rookie Max Hall on the depth chart.

It's no coincidence the Bombers' East Division-winning 2011 was also Pierce's healthiest year in Winnipeg, but the other two years of the Pierce era resulted in a combined 10 wins.

Is Pierce too much of an injury risk at this point in his career to consider Winnipeg a legitimate contender in 2013, or can he recapture the magic – and health – of his 2011 season?

The Rouge asks: What do you expect from Buck Pierce in Winnipeg this season? You've heard what we've had to say; now it's your turn.

As always, it's Your! Call.

Buck Pierce (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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