The 2022 season was not a kind one to Calgary Stampeders defensive back Tre Roberson.
The former league all-star missed 13 games last year dealing with various ailments, most notably a knee injury he suffered in the team’s Week 8 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Roberson would have surgery soon after which forced the team to play without one of their best defensive backs for the bulk of the season.
The Stamps are anxious to get Roberson back in the lineup and expect him to be ready to go to start the 2023 campaign.
“(He) should be good to go,” Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson told 3DownNation.
“I had him at my football camps and he was running with those kids, having a great time. Part of me was like, ‘Ease off a little, Tre, it’s only January.'”
Roberson returned to the Stampeders in October of 2021 after a brief stint with the NFL’s Chicago Bears. He played in three games in 2021, registering nine defensive tackles and one forced fumble. He re-signed with the club on a two-year extension not long after the 2021 season ended.
The Indianapolis, Indiana native will enter his fifth season with the Stamps in 2023. To date, he has played 40 games for the team and recorded 121 defensive tackles, 11 interceptions, four forced fumbles and two touchdowns.
The 30-year-old also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 and 2017 after going unselected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
While Roberson doesn’t have a ton of mileage on his body, concerns begin to mount when a player reaches 30 and has had a number of injuries.
“Any time you get to a certain age and you’ve had multiple injuries, you start wondering,” said Dickenson. “But we need him to play back to that standard and hopefully he can stay healthy for a full 18 (games).”
Dickenson believes his six-foot, 190-pound ballhawk is still the league’s premier pass defender, but there are some youngsters on his own team ready to try and take Roberson’s crown.
“I think so. I think he thinks so,” Dickenson said when asked if Roberson was the best cornerback in the league.
“We’ve got a couple good corners. Jonathan Moxey is going to be pushing for that title as well. We feel good about both those guys on the edges.”
While the team may have the league’s top corner duos, the Stampeders’ headman knows it takes more than just having a couple of shutdown corners to make a successful secondary in the CFL.
“It’s a weird game up here. A lot of it is throws in between the hash marks so you can say you have lockdown corners but that doesn’t mean you’re going to stop the pass.”
Despite being one of the league’s most successful franchises in the past three decades, the Stampeders have not secured a postseason victory since winning the Grey Cup 2018. While they have made the postseason in each of the past three seasons, they have come up short in all three of their West Semi-Final matchups.
A banged-up defensive backfield full of inexperienced players was often cited as a factor holding the team back last season, something the team will be looking to correct in order to contend in 2023.
“I think our DB group was young last year. I think we’re going to have a lot of competition in camp. I think we’ll be pretty good,” Dickenson said.