Shailene Parsons | BCLions.com Staff
SURREY -- On the heels of Buck Pierce’s return to the Lions, the team announced today that another former player will be added to the ranks this week.
DE Chris Wilson, a member of BC’s 2006 Grey Cup championship team, agreed to terms on a contract with the club on Monday.
Pierce and Wilson, who each opened their CFL careers as Lions in 2005, are a part of GM Wally Buono’s push for more veteran depth on both sides of the ball. Wilson’s knowledge of the Canadian game and five years of NFL experience will add strength to an already solid defensive line.
“Chris approached us last week about returning to the club and we are very pleased to welcome him back,” Buono said in a release from the team.
“He’s a gifted athlete and he will bring an additional aggressive, physical presence to our defensive line.”
In five seasons, Wilson started in 80 career games with the Washington Redskins where he recorded 57 defensive tackles, 6.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. After not being picked up for the 2013 NFL season, however, Wilson reached out to the organization that gave him his start.
“I see myself being a vicious and tenacious pass rusher for this team, just like I was the last time I was here. I expect to step right back into that roll,” Wilson told reporters during his first media availability in Vancouver.
“I’m a veteran this time around and I’m going to bring a lot of energy, as I always do. A lot of mature energy that can get this team motivated.”
Buono has also looked to impact the offence with his recent personnel movement. The release of QB Joey Elliott last week left little experience to back up starter Travis Lulay, a void that Pierce and his nine seasons in this league will no doubt fill.
“We have a very good quarterback, as we all know, but he’s got to do his part and the people around him have to do theirs,” Buono explained, following the announcement of Pierce’s trade for WR Akeem Foster.
“Buck’s an experienced guy, I know he’ll be good on the sideline, I know he’ll be good on the practice field, and I know if you put the ball in his hands he’ll do what he has to do to win.”
During his first season with BC in 2009, Lulay and Pierce developed a good working relationship that will benefit them as they move forward in the final leg of the season. This familiarity, coupled with Pierce’s three years in the starting position for Winnipeg will add value in the locker room.
“You learn to manage the guys around you, and as the starter your teammates have to have a lot of faith in you. Buck’s used to answering a lot of questions and speaking on behalf of the group and bringing that experience is where Buck is going to be huge,” Lulay said, echoing his GM’s sentiment.
“Obviously you never know what can happen, and Buck is the kind of guy where if you put the ball in his hands he can give you the chance to win football games.”
With the NFL season officially underway and final cuts made, these two acquisitions could prove to be the first of other changes to come.
“Are we going to stop trying to better ourselves? No. We are looking at bringing in other players and at this time of year there are going to be guys available that can help you to better yourself. Whether it’s at one or two positions, the whole idea is to improve,” Buono said.