Elks’ OC Stephen McAdoo doesn’t comment on Nick Arbuckle as possible starting QB in 2022

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Edmonton’s new offensive coaching staff declined to comment regarding the possibility of Nick Arbuckle being their starting quarterback in 2022.

“Right now we’re basically getting into where we get in to see our players and different things of that nature. We’re not going to comment as far as where a player’s gonna be for this upcoming season,” said offensive coordinator Stephen McAdoo.

Normally this would be a non-story given that McAdoo has officially been Edmonton’s offensive coordinator for less than a week. What’s curious is that he and Arbuckle were both with the Toronto Argonauts this past season with the young passer making four starts prior to being traded to Edmonton.

Passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jarious Jackson also wasn’t willing to comment on the possibility of Arbuckle starting for Edmonton this year. He served as Arbuckle’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Argos in 2021, working closely alongside him and fellow passer McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

“At this time we’re still evaluating as a staff and doing things of that nature, so we’ll see where it goes from there,” said Jackson.

Arbuckle dressed for seven games with Toronto this past season, completing 62.7 percent of his pass attempts for 1,158 yards, five touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also rushed 17 times for 25 yards and two touchdowns primarily in a short yardage role.

McAdoo was a little more forthcoming when asked about Taylor Cornelius, who started eight games for Edmonton as a rookie in 2021 following a stint in the XFL.

“I think he showed some things in the games that he’s played. Every quarterback goes through their bumps and bruises and learning process in the CFL and just football in general. He has some tools in his repertoire and it’s up to us to kinda get with him and develop those tools and make him more successful out there on the field,” said McAdoo.

Cornelius completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 1,795 yards, nine touchdowns, and 13 interceptions last season, while carrying the ball 21 times for 149 yards and one score. His tenure as a starter started and ended poorly, but there was a six-game stint between Week 9 and Week 15 during which he threw for nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

All three of Edmonton’s quarterbacks — Arbuckle, Cornelius, and Dakota Prukop — are under contract for 2022, though it remains unclear if the club’s new coaching staff views any of them as true starters.

Money could play a role in determining who the Elks have under centre in 2021 as Arbuckle is reportedly due to make $340,000 in hard money in 2022. Cornelius is entering the second year of his rookie deal, which is worth a league minimum $65,000.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.