While cleaning out their lockers following their season-ending victory over the Montreal Alouettes, an interesting scenario presented itself in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ locker room.
Some players went back to their homes in Winnipeg and elsewhere in Canada, while others boarded flights for Florida, Alabama, Georgia, California and Washington Stats.
Some know they will be back, others are not so sure.
Free agents Bryant Turner, Johnny Sears and Jonathan Hefney said they hoped to line up some workouts South of the Border, with Turner and Sears saying the Bombers could talk them out of exploring the NFL if General Manager Joe Mack made attractive enough contract offers.
Jason Vega, Marcellus Bowman and quarterback Justin Goltz said they were ready to re-sign and have already had discussions with club management. Quarterbacks Joey Elliott and Alex Brink, both with three years in Winnipeg under their belts, discussed their uncertain futures, saying they would love to come back and be the starter in 2013.
And then Buck Pierce emerged, for his first sighting around the Bombers facility since he was hurt in Hamilton nine days earlier.
Pierce was swarmed by the media, and as always, he politely stated his case, saying that he understands the concern over his ability to lead the team because of his continual string of injuries, that he realizes the organization has a decision to make on his future, and that he’s prepared for just about anything.
But he’s not about to give up, and he will be in training camp anxious to compete for, and win, the starting quarterbacks job for a fourth-straight season. Pierce reminded everyone that he missed much of his first Blue Bomber season in 2010 due to injury, only to rebound and play 18 of the 20 games in the 2011 season, leading the Bombers to a Grey Cup appearance.
He said he doesn’t see why, with a little luck on his side, that he can’t pull the same kind of bounce-back in 2013.
There will be some interesting maneuvering done by Mack and Tim Burke this off-season. But nothing will come close to matching the interest in what they do at the quarterback position. And more specifically what happens with the face of the Blue Bomber franchise, Buck Pierce.