Glen Suitor was on Sportstalk last night and mentioned that he had spoken to Matt Dunigan about Buck Pierce. Dunigan apparently thinks Pierce is a carbon copy of himself from his play to the way he walks and talks. This is high praise indeed for those familiar with the exploits of Matt Dunigan in the CFL. BC Lion fans who seem the similarity like the comparison but don't want Pierce to stop watching film of Dickenson and trying to take the hits like Dunigan did. Matt was a super football player but his style of play led to too many hits and too early an end to his career. Dunigan still holds the record for just over 700 yards passing during the 1994 season leading the Bombers against the Esks. Dunigan's his best year ever as a CFL quarterback was in Birmingham with 643 pass attempts, 362 completions, 4,911 yards and 34 TDs.
Last season it was mentioned in the media that Lion players were calling the then rookie Pierce, "Junior Dicky" as to them he is a younger version of veteran Dave Dickenson. This is based on his poise, leadership and focus on the field and his penchant for taking what is given to him over forcing plays that are not there or acting like a rookie with the usual happy feet and breakdowns.
Is it possible that Buck Pierce is a mix of both Dunigan and Dickenson? Pierce has the savvy of the old fox Dickenson at picking about defences and exuding confidence that transfers to every player o the field and to the coaches. Pierce also has the toughness of Dunigan to take on linebackers when he has room to run. Pierce ran the option for his first three years at New Mexico State and on one occasion ran the last 50 yards for a TD with a broken ankle.
For Buck Pierce to have the admiration of Matt Dunigan is terrific and much deserved, but it is not time for Pierce to toss out the Dickenson film for Dunigan tapes and become the linebacker at QB like Dunigan was. For Pierce success will come to him early enough if he stays on course studying the master Dave Dickenson at reading defences and adding his own skills and abilities to the mix with his speed and mobility in hitting the open spaces when need be.
Buck Pierce will have a long and successful as a starter in this league or eventually in the NFL. Early signs that are that he is comfortable in the Dickenson model and is aware that getting himself injured is not conducive to a long career at the pro level. As much as Matt Dunigan is a CFL great QB who at Lousiana Tech broke a lot of Terry Bradshaw's passing records, his fierce and combative running style is what Pierce should seek to avoid not emulate.