The Bomber’s offensive coordinator has had a great run with the Bombers. In 2019 he put together an excellent game plan during the season and in the Grey Cup – utilizing both Streveler and Collaros – to win the clubs first Grey Cup in 29 years!
In 2021 Pierce again put together immaculate game plans and the Bombers went back-to-back winning another Grey Cup.
2022 would present a new challenge for Pierce as Andrew Harris left for Toronto. Pierce now had to plan the running game around Johnny Augustine and Brady Oliveira – a plan that took the first third of the season to really get going. While the Bombers would find themselves in a third straight Grey Cup they would come up short to Toronto losing 24-23. This was the Bomber’s worst game of the season and at the worst time.
While there is plenty of criticism to go around, arguably Pierce did not have a great game plan for that game.
After much success, it should come as no surprise that Pierce was being pursued by other teams. However, I was quite certain that Buck Pierce was not going to go anywhere, and here is why.
The New Challenge Theory
The new challenge theory is like the flat earth theory – up close it looks plausible but when viewed from a distance it is completely erroneous.
As the name of the theory suggests Buck Pierce may have chosen to leave Winnipeg looking for a new challenge. However, the concept is flawed in the very premise. Every year presents a new challenge for football teams and offensive coordinators. Pierce does not need to leave Winnipeg to find a new challenge.
In fact, Pierce turned down an opportunity to be Ottawa’s next head coach to stay as Winnipeg’s offensive coordinator even before Winnipeg re-signed Mike O’Shea as their head coach.
That is a crucial element to this conversation which is not discussed nearly enough – and we will get to that in a moment.
How About Going To Saskatchewan?
If you have been following any CFL news you will know that Saskatchewan is having an incredibly hard time filling their offensive coordinator vacancy. That really should come as no surprise. Saskatchewan ended the 2022 season on a 7 game losing streak. As a result, Saskatchewan fired their offensive coordinator, Jason Maas.
My speculation, along with others’ is that Saskatchewan is going to have a terrible 2023 season and much of the coaching staff will not be back for the 2024 season. In fact, I believe the only reason that Saskatchewan’s Head Coach as well as their General Manager is still in place for the 2023 season has to do with the coaching salary cap.
So nobody really wants the Saskatchewan offensive coordinator role.
Why would anyone want to leave their organization to go to Saskatchewan right now as they will likely find themselves out of a job in 2024? Furthermore, Saskatchewan does not even have a starting quarterback signed for the 2023 season! Yah, that is a hard sell to get anyone to take on the offensive coordinator position.
My guess is that someone already employed by the Roughriders is going to get the job…whether they want it or not.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have been such a blunder in 2022 that even long-time fans are calling the team out.
All of that just goes to further substantiate what I said earlier in the year.
*Just before submission the news broke that the Roughriders had signed an offensive coordinator. However, I would be surprised if he takes the same career path as Buck Pierce – more below.
And like I surmised earlier on Monday (before the news broke) it was somebody from inside the organization.
The Bombers’ Succession Plan
When Buck Pierce retired from his CFL playing career he came to Winnipeg as the running backs coach. While some may have though that was a strange move, for me the writing was already on the wall. Pierce was setting himself up to be the Bombers’ head coach at some point. To me this was glaringly obvious. The Bombers had terrible seasons with revolving doors at the quarterback position as well as many coaching positions.
Back then I surmised that Pierce saw an opportunity for himself in the near or distant future – and it did not matter which one.
Had the coaching staff fumbled and bumbled for a long time, I believe Pierce would have found himself quickly as the offensive coordinator or the head coach. That would have been a win for Buck. Conversely, had the Bombers organization got it together – which they did under Head Coach Mike O’Shea – Pierce would find himself on a winning and successful team with a guaranteed career longevity. Another win for Pierce.
Well that is exactly how it has played out.
Pierce was promoted to quarterback coach, and later offensive coordinator for the Bombers. The Bombers began their winning ways, and Pierce is now part of a wildly successful team!
What happens when Head Coach Mike O’Shea decides he is done with that role? I fully expect that Buck Pierce will be in the top of a shortlist of candidates to be the Bombers next head coach.
So if you are Buck Pierce why would you go anywhere else? You would not. And he did not.
What did I get right? What did you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.
Find all my articles here.
Written by a Bomber fan, for the Bomber fans.
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