Cardinals quarterback could evolve into a Taysom Hill role in 2021

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Chris Streveler
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Chris Streveler /

Could backup quarterback Chris Streveler become another weapon for the Arizona Cardinals in 2021?

Last season, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Chris Streveler proved in Week 17 that he is a fringe NFL quarterback.

However, Streveler displays an outstanding skill-set, and he could see playing time in 2021 as a utility, much like New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill.

One reason Streveler could thrive in the NFL if the Cardinals put him into a Hill-like role is that he has already played it north of the border in the Canadian Football League.

How would the Arizona Cardinals use Chris Streveler in their offense next season?

While in a timeshare with Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros in 2019, Streveler ran better than he threw. Sure, a 66.7 completion percentage almost always tops the charts, but Streveler’s 6.7 yards per attempt and eight passing touchdowns as opposed to 14 interceptions are cringe-worthy.

However, Streveler rushed 127 times that year and logged 726 rushing yards, good for 5.7 yards per carry, and 12 touchdowns.

He had a better statistical season at quarterback in 2018, but he also scored 10 touchdowns on the ground, giving him a grand total of 22 in two years with Winnipeg.

It’s clear that Streveler has experience in the role and does not need to transition in ways some quarterbacks or even former quarterbacks must.

Now, let’s further compare Streveler to Hill. In Week 17, the Cardinals called on Streveler to relieve an injured Kyler Murray with the playoffs on the line.

Predictably, things did not go well, and a pick-six highlighted Streveler’s weak outing. He did record a touchdown pass to Jonathan Ward, but it was one of those plays that, while legally a pass, was really more of a pitch.

As for Hill, before 2020, he had thrown exactly 13 passes in the NFL, completing 6 of them. He had zero career touchdown passes, one pick, and a bleak passer rating. Like Streveler, Hill should not be called on to lead a team as a starting quarterback despite posting decent numbers in 2020 when filling in for an injured Drew Brees.

But given Hill’s success at the NFL level at running back, wide receiver, tight end, and even returner, it will pave the way for fringe passers like Streveler to prove they belong in the NFL as a utility player. It’s worth mentioning Streveler recorded a 13-yard reception during the 107th Grey Cup.

If the Cardinals utilize Streveler’s strengths and experience, mainly by running the football, it can further improve the dynamic ground attack they had in 2020. They could also give him reps as a kick or punt returner in training camp and the preseason, and even try him out at wide receiver or tight end.

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And if Arizona keeps him on the field at a variety of positions next season, opposing defenses would always be forced to keep tabs on him. There are so many things that players with Streveler’s skill set can do for an offense, and as Hill has shown in New Orleans, they can come up big, even when opposing defenses keep track of them.