Former USD quarterback Chris Streveler found himself in Vermillion Friday afternoon to be a part of Unite for USD, and talk with the Coyote football team ahead of its 2021 spring season.
Since graduating from USD in 2018, Streveler spent two seasons in the Canadian Football League, where he helped the Winnipeg Blue Bombers win a Grey Cup trophy in 2019. Following the Grey Cup win, Streveler was signed by the Arizona Cardinals, where he became the back-up for Heisman Trophy winner and 2019 NFL Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray.
Streveler made his first NFL appearance on Sept. 13, where he recorded one carry for three yards and a first down. He then came in for an injured Murray in week 17 against the Los Angeles Rams. Streveler threw for 105 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the 18-7 loss.
Streveler took time Friday to speak with The Volante about his time post-USD.
Bailey Zubke: First question for you. What’s life been like for you since you graduated from USD a few years ago?
Chris Streveler: I mean, it’s been a heck of a journey, that’s for sure. I mean, just everything that’s happened, going up in Canada and getting the opportunity I got there, and then coming down to Arizona and getting the opportunity there, I mean it’s been a whirlwind. But it really has truly been a dream come true. You know, as a kid you grow up dreaming about getting the opportunity to play professional football, whether it be in Canada or in the NFL and then to get to, you know, realize that dream has really been special for me.
BZ: What was it like for you going up into Canada and then winning that Grey Cup and then having the picture of you and the celebration going viral on Twitter, and what were all those moments like for you?
CS: Winning that Grey Cup, it’s really a feeling that I can’t really put into words because you put in so much time and effort and energy into that season and then to get to really realize that you have that goal come to fruition and accomplish it, it’s the best feeling in the world. And honestly, I was never planning to, you know, go viral or I never did that because of that but it was just really celebrating with my teammates. We had such a tight-knit locker room and we were really just proud of what we had accomplished and we fought through a lot of different adversities that season. So just to get to celebrate with those guys, guys that you got to bond with and you love and care about, it just means the world.
BZ: What was that first call like with the Arizona Cardinals when they said ‘hey we’re interested in bringing you in for a workout, maybe bringing you in to be on the team.’ What were those first conversations like and then coming into those workouts?
CS: I don’t handle those conversations, it’s all through my agents. So I mean, teams get in touch with the agent and let you know they’re interested for a workout and then, from there, the process is, you go down for the workout. Hopefully, you know, they tell you, we want to offer you a contract, which really doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that you’re going to get an opportunity to come in and compete through OTAs and camp. I had a couple of teams that I worked out for that were also interested, so you know, to get opportunities to play in the NFL, it was just unbelievable to even just imagine like okay, I’m about to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, like it’s wild to me. Once you kind of come back down to earth you realize well there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. I mean just signing in the NFL, like that’s not the ultimate goal right? So there’s a lot of work to be done but at that time I was really just excited about the opportunity, which at the end of the day is really all I can ask for.
BZ: There were other cool moments in your first year in the NFL; making it into a game early in the season, picking up a big first down, and then also coming in for Kyler Murray late in the season in a pivotal game and being able to score a touchdown. What was that moment like for you getting in the end zone and being able to play in the NFL?
CS: Yeah, I mean just getting to play in the NFL, it’s exciting right? Like I said, it’s a childhood dream, but at the time, if you are going out there thinking “oh my gosh this is the NFL like this is my dream,” you’re not focused on what you have to focus on. So for me it’s really just about being focused and being locked in, and just worrying about being focused on what you have to accomplish at that time whatever your role is, whether it’s being on the sideline going in for a quarterback sneak, or stepping in for an injured Kyler, you just want to be focused on what you have to accomplish and not try to be too overwhelmed with the whole situation, so that was really my mindset.
BZ: Going forward, what do you what do you want to keep working on, what do you want to keep improving on to reach your ultimate goals?
CS: Well, I mean, I’m really excited about this offseason because it’s one of the first offseasons I’ve had where I’ve come out of the season completely healthy. So I’ve really gotten to jump into my offseason right away and doing some different things I want to work on. You know, just incorporating some different things, working on the mental side of the game quite a bit. I think it’s really important, especially, you know, college and beyond. And then also doing different things like pilates and stuff like that. We’ve got a great strength coach there with the Cardinals who’s been doing it a really long time. I’m excited to be working with him. Got a lot of good things in the works, and like I said, it’s just about stacking day by day and trying to get better and, I think, if you do that and focus on that then things take care of it themselves the way they should.
BZ: I don’t have anything else for you, thank you.
CS: Yeah, thank you. Go Yotes.