When a 4th stringer becomes your back-up

LUCK'S IN FOR CINCINNATI KID Monday, August 20, 2007 - 07:00PM

CFL rookie in place to take advantage of Pierce's latest misfortune

By Mike Beamish,
Vancouver Sun

Given the short shelf life of Lions starting quarterbacks, B.C. quickly has become the land of opportunity for Gino Guidugli.

Although the Cincinnati Kid has yet to throw a pass in the CFL, head coach Wally Buono tentatively has nominated the 24-year-old as his backup quarterback for the Lions' next game, Aug. 31 against Montreal, following a bye week.

For a team desperate to make news that doesn't have an injured quarterback's name in the headline, hope floats that Guidugli is ready.

"We think he is," Buono said, after the Lions returned to Vancouver following Friday's 45-45 overtime tie with the Calgary Stampeders. And it's not just wishful thinking on Buono's part. It could become necessary that Guidugli has the ability to win a football game.

"It's unfortunate what's happened to Dave and Buck, but Buck might be back sooner than we think," Guidugli says. "I'm just one hit away from being a starter."

That scenario moved closer to a real possibility when Pierce was diagnosed with a second degree separation of his right shoulder after X-rays were taken on Saturday. It's an injury made more problematic because the right is Pierce's throwing shoulder.

While no timeframe is set for his return, it's unlikely Pierce will be ready to practise in two weeks' time, much less play.

"Buck's been banged up a lot this year," says medical trainer Bill Reichelt, "but he was still able to function. He can't with this. It's his throwing shoulder. The ligaments are torn. There's swelling and pain and it takes some time for that to go down. In two weeks' time, he might just be getting around to where he can throw again."

With Pierce out, the quarterback depth chart has turned topsy-turvy. Jarious Jackson becomes the nominal starter, Guidugli will dress as his backup, with Dave Dickenson possibly drawing in as the third option. The belief that Dickenson is closer to returning from post-concussion syndrome, even if only as a senior sideline advisor, gained impetus in Calgary. He made the trip, threw encouragingly in pre-game warmup and, although Dickenson didn't dress for the game, his head was into it. He was actively involved in strategy and play-calling sessions on the sidelines.

"Maybe Mr. Dickenson can venture out next game and, if everything's positive, maybe he can be No. 3," Buono said. "From listening to him talk, I think he'd like to be. I'm very encouraged. It appears the trip [to Calgary] helped him get healthier, psychologically."

Hockey has something called "puck luck" but in football there apparently is no such thing as "Buck luck."

Pierce disclosed Saturday that he suffered a slight shoulder separation in the 22-21 defeat to Winnipeg on Aug. 10, a suspicion gleaned in practice last week when he spent time between throws favouring his right arm and shoulder.

In a five-week period, Pierce has, in succession, bruised his right hand, ribs, plant foot, tweaked his shoulder and then wrecked it fully. He was injured late in the fourth quarter against the Stampeders on a sack, just before the three-minute warning, as he was moving the Lions in position for a field goal. Two plays later, Paul McCallum's 27-yarder put the Lions ahead 31-24.

"I can't move it right now," said Pierce, who had his arm in a sling after Friday's game. "I had a slight separation [from the Winnipeg game]. It was sore all week. It's so frustrating right now, for this to happen. I mean, the offence played great. We put up 45 points [31 in regulation time].

"I think the key element we've been missing is having a guy in there [quarterback] consistently, who shows up and plays well."

Pierce's injury, however, is yet another setback for continuity. A shoulder separation is a particularly frustrating impairment because, although he won't require surgery, these injuries can take weeks to heal. The patient has to put the arm in a sling for one to three weeks and continually ice the shoulder 30 minutes a day in the beginning to ease the pain.

Too bad, because Buono was pleased -- no, thrilled -- with Pierce's breakout performance. He kept Calgary off balance with his play-calling, play-action rollouts and three superb passes for touchdowns (Jason Clermont, twice, and Tony Simmons) in which Pierce artfully put air under the ball and played to his receivers' speed and height advantages.

"That's growth. That's what we see in Buck," Buono says.

"And he will continue to grow. He's a bright guy and he showed tremendous poise."

And he could be the new face of the franchise, if Pierce can somehow manage to keep his body on the field.

How 'bout, when a 4th stringer becomes your starter...

Please Cheif, don't put the kiss of death on us yet! :wink:

Ya Chief, I do not like the sounds of Gino being our starter. With the way things are going though, it wouldn't be all that surprising.

I'm hoping Jackson has learned something over the last few weeks.

I know Winnipeg hated him, and so did Toronto, but where is Spergon Wynn? Is he under contract with any one? I remember him winning a few games back in either 2003 or 2004.

As long as Jarius can hold the fort and play better than he did against the Riders, I think the Lions should be ok. Our defence is usually dominant (hopefully last week was just a misstep).

It's nice to have a third stringer like Jarius. Yes, he's not as good as Dave or Buck, but he is a pretty damn good third string QB.

JJ will be ok back there...heres to a couple more losses while hes at it though. Better get someone better for the Rider game in late September. Circle it.


I'm hoping Marcel Icantspellhislastname can keep Calvillo confused in our back to back series so the defense can keep a short field for Jarious Jackson.

I was only joking. I was actually referring to Rocky Butler. :lol:

I'm starting to believe Icantspellhislastname puts the short plays on the first page of his playlist and the long ones on his second, then every game loses the second page.....

I didn't know Etch-a-Sketch made a model with a second page....

....i believe Nealon Greene is waiting patiently for a call....sorry there sport...i just remebered how you recommended Ted White, when we were in similar circumstances..... :lol: :lol:

LOL. As if those suggestions aren't bad enough, papa have you given them Mike Quinn's phone number? Or Pat Barnes?

…not yet MadJack ,but if Nealon doesn’t return their anticipated call…will do… :lol:

What was the name of that owner's kid in Calgary? He's probably got nothing but time on his hands.....

Yes, but Rocky is/was the 5th stringer in TO.
Everybody forgets poor old Eric Crouch is on the injured list as well.
That means technically, you had to be talking about the Leos (and thereby officially placing the kiss of death on them)

Maybe BC can entice the Flutie brothers to come out of retirement...

I do believe you are referring to one Kevin Feterik.

We could add Darnell Kennedy, Charlie Peterson, Ben Sankey, David Corley, and Tavares Bolden to the list.........and of course, Stanley Jackson!

I wonder what Kirwin(or was it Kerwin) Bell is doing now...

Feterik....that's the guy.