Winnipeg legend Chris Streveler is working to leave his mark on the NFL.
The Arizona Cardinals signed him to a contract after bringing him to the desert for a visit in December and workout in January. It didn’t take long for the dual-threat pivot to click with head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
“Kingsbury comes right up to me and he played for the Bombers for a season there, so we got chatting about Winnipeg and his time he spent at Earls. It was cool to have somebody that’s familiar with the CFL,” Streveler told TSN reporter Farhan Lalji.
“Tom Clements, their offensive coordinator, he played in Winnipeg and won a Grey Cup, getting to talk to him about that was really cool. Having people within the organization that respect and know the CFL game, like I do — obviously I have such a high level of respect for the players and the level of competition up here — it was really cool to be around that.”
Streveler joins a Cardinals team that starts 2019 No. 1 NFL draft pick Kyle Murray at quarterback with Brett Hundley as the backup. He was selected in the fifth-round, 147th overall of the 2015 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, while undrafted free agent passer Drew Anderson is the other pivot on the roster.
Kingsbury is known for having an innovative and creative approach on offence.
“I got really excited about the opportunity to work with Kliff Kingsbury. What they do offensively and what they do with Kyler Murray, that suits itself to some of my strengths as a quarterback. They talked to me about how they really like me as a quarterback and they want to develop me there, which also really appealed to me,” Streveler said.
The University of South Dakota product has drawn comparisons to New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Taysom Hill as an explosive athlete who can attack defences with his arm and legs. He runs a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, posted a 38.5-inch vertical, and fired off a 10-foot, five-inch broad jump – all at six-foot-two, 209 pounds.
“It’s obviously something I’ve been hearing for a couple years now. He’s been doing great things for the Saints and he’s been a productive part of their offence,” Streveler said.
“That was big for me going into these workouts and communicating with NFL teams, just showing versatility and letting them know that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make the team and help out a team.”
The 24-year-old Streveler threw for 2,698 yards in two seasons with the Bombers along with 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,167 yards and 22 touchdowns, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
“I know there’s always going to be people that say, ‘he runs a lot, well he can’t throw.’ There’s always going to be people that have things to say. Some people don’t like the way that I play, some people do like the way that I play,” Streveler said.
“I’m worried about being the best teammate and player I can be on a consistent basis. There are some people who are still trying to say that Lamar Jackson can’t throw, and he just won the MVP.”
Streveler was especially effective for Winnipeg during the club’s run in the post-season. He rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown in the West Semi-Final in Calgary and threw a touchdown pass to Andrew Harris in the Grey Cup.
“That’s my motto. Even from my time at Minnesota there was a point when I switched from quarterback and I was playing running back, tight end, receiver, fullback. I was doing special teams — everything,” Streveler said.
“I’ve adopted that motto, I just want to help the team, I want to give myself the best chance to make the team and I’ve relayed that to NFL teams. Whatever it takes to make the team, I’m willing to do it.”