January 2, 2023

Steinberg’s MMQB: A New Year’s resolution for every team

Steve Hiscock/CFL.ca

As we kick off a brand new year, it’s time for a Monday Morning Quarterback staple: resolutions for all nine teams for the next 12 months.

Happy New Year and here’s to a safe, happy, and healthy 2023!

» Steinberg: My top-10 games of the 2022 season
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» Through The Lens: The most iconic images of 2022
» Landry: Pivoting into the New Year

Toronto Argonauts: One more year!

Andrew Harris can still ball. He showed it in his first year with Toronto before sustaining a torn pectoral muscle in week 10. He also showed it three months later when he stunned everyone and returned to action in the Eastern Final. As a giant fan of the best running back of his generation, I say run it back for another year and the chance of a fourth straight Grey Cup.

Of course, I say that partially in jest, because Harris has accomplished everything he could have possibly imagined when he embarked on this pro football journey in 2010. Harris has won four Grey Cup titles, including two straight with his hometown Blue Bombers. His most recent ring was earned a few months ago with the Argos in a thrilling win over Winnipeg, the team he parted ways with just under a year ago.


I’ll be thrilled if Harris were to come back for a 13th CFL season because I watch watching the guy play. But, knowing he turns 36 in April, I think we’ll all understand if Harris opts to retire and go out on top. In that case, I’ll be just as thrilled to write that retrospective on a Hall of Fame career.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Continued improvement from Marc Liegghio

Winnipeg’s kicker took his fair share of licks in 2022. There were a couple high profile moments in the 109th Grey Cup and a frustrating evening or two during the regular season. But what I came to appreciate about Liegghio as his sophomore season played out was how professionally he dealt with the missteps that come with being a professional kicker.

But let’s not forget the strides Liegghio took year over year. He wasn’t ready to take on the dual role of kicker and punter as a rookie in 2021 but leaned into that challenge last season. In his first season kicking full-time, Liegghio made 82.1% of his field goal attempts, which is a nice place to start. Liegghio turns 26 in February and will enter his third season with all kinds of lessons learned. I’m excited to see the strides he takes.

Montreal Alouettes: Good health for William Stanback

The Alouettes have a few things already sewn up entering the coming season. Montreal hired new head coach Jason Maas in December, which gives them plenty of lead time entering 2023 Free Agency. The Als also have a superstar under contract looking for a big bounce back campaign. That superstar would be none other than tailback William Stanback.


Stanback’s 2022 season didn’t even have a chance to get off the ground. Just three touches into Montreal’s Week 1 matchup with Calgary, Stanback sustained a broken ankle that kept him off the field until Week 18. Upon returning, Stanback helped the Alouettes clinch a playoff spot and beat Hamilton in week one of the playoffs. Fully healthy again, I’m hoping for a great full season from the 2021 East Division Most Outstanding Player.

BC Lions: An early Nathan Rourke answer

While I don’t think it’s unfair for Lions fans to be hoping for Rourke to return for a third CFL season in 2023, I won’t put it down as a resolution. After all, Rourke is exploring his NFL options right now, which has been a long-standing dream of his. Whether he returns to BC or not, the sooner the team can get an answer the better.

With how the CFL’s opt-out window for the NFL works, the Lions will know what’s happening prior to the opening of free agency. But knowing how crucial a position we’re talking about, and who BC might be replacing, the more prep time the better. This is the number one early 2023 story to watch.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats: The Bo Show

The Ticats have already given up assets to acquire quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell from the Stampeders. In 2023, I hope Hamilton can agree to terms with the two-time Most Outstanding Player and get him on the field. Approaching free agency, Mitchell is keeping his options open, but I think he and the Tiger-Cats would be a great fit.


Hamilton is looking to solidify their quarterback spot after a frustrating 2022. With his winning track record, you can understand why Mitchell is their target. For Bo, though, the fit works well, too. He’d be joining a team with solid offensive weapons, an elite head coach, and an outstanding fan base. It’ll be weird seeing Mitchell in colours other than red and white, but I’m starting to get adjusted to the idea of him sporting black and yellow.

Calgary Stampeders: A refreshed Roberson

After returning to the CFL late in 2021, I was excited to see Tre Roberson back in Calgary for the entire 2022 season. Unfortunately, the Stampeders lost their All-Star defensive back to a season-ending knee injury in Week 8 and we didn’t get to see Roberson in the final four months of the season.

I’m excited to see what a refreshed Roberson can do in 2023. An elite boundary cornerback like Roberson provides Calgary so many different play-calling options on defence. He excels in tight coverage, which allows the Stamps to shade their secondary elsewhere. Calgary adjusted without him last year, but you can bet defensive coordinator Brent Monson is fired up for Roberson’s return.

Ottawa REDBLACKS: More from Jeremiah Masoli and Jaelon Acklin

After developing great chemistry over two years in Hamilton, Masoli and Acklin signed with Ottawa in 2022 free agency. That chemistry more than carried over early on with the REDBLACKS as Acklin and Masoli connected for 220 yards in their first two games. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much more from this dynamic duo.


The good news is both Masoli and Acklin are under contract for the coming season. Despite instability at quarterback for most of the year, Acklin still completed his first 1,000-yard season finishing with 1,169 and two touchdowns. With the potential of a full Masoli campaign looming, I’m excited to see what these two have in store for 2023.

Saskatchewan Roughriders: More protection up front

General manager Jeremy O’Day has a significant decision to make at quarterback ahead of the 2023 season, which is the story that will dominate headlines for them as free agency opens. But whoever is under centre for Saskatchewan in 2023 needs some help from an improved offensive line.

The Riders allowed a league-worst 77 sacks last season. For context, that’s more than four sacks a game, which means Cody Fajardo was truly on the run all year long. Additionally, that was 24 more than the next highest total of 53 allowed by Edmonton and 60 more than league leading Calgary’s 17.

Edmonton Elks: A home win!

This one needs the least explanation of all our resolutions.

Edmonton is such an awesome football market with a storied tradition of winning. As such, it’s been difficult to watch how the Elks have struggled to win games at Commonwealth Stadium over the last couple years. After a dry spell dating back to October 2019, fans of the green and gold deserve some home wins in 2023.

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