Streveler poses tackling challenges for Riders
WINNIPEG — Chris Streveler is no ordinary CFL quarterback.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders found that to be true during Sunday’s 19-17 CFL win over Streveler and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
“It’s different when you tackle a big guy who doesn’t like contact,” Saskatchewan safety Mike Edem said in advance of Saturday’s Banjo Bowl rematch at IG Field. “When you tackle a big guy who does like contact, that’s a whole different ball game.
“Streveler is one of those guys who doesn’t only look for contact, he likes contact. He said to me a few times, ‘Good hit.’ ”
That means the Riders have to respect Streveler’s running ability.
“We have to bring all that we have to tackle him,” Edem said. “You can’t just blow him up because he’s a strong guy and you can tell that he’s in the weight room. We know that we have to bring it.”
Streveler, listed at 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds, uses his size to his advantage when running the ball.
Streveler has made only two starts since Matt Nichols was sidelined with a shoulder injury on Aug. 15.
Winnipeg beat the Edmonton Eskimos 34-28 with Streveler rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in his first start of the 2019 season. However, the sophomore quarterback completed just seven of 17 passes for 89 yards.
Streveler was better on Sunday, completing 16 of 24 passes for 161 yards. He connected with Kenny Lawler on a nine-yard touchdown pass, but was also intercepted by Derrick Moncrief and Loucheiz Purifoy.
In the second half, strategic running by Streveler helped the Blue Bombers assume a short-lived lead. He had 11 carries for 65 yards overall, but 53 of those yards came on nine carries in the second half.
He also scored on a one-yard touchdown run that, after Justin Medlock’s convert, gave the Blue Bombers a 17-16 lead at 11:16 of the fourth quarter.
“They do run a lot of wrinkle plays where the quarterback is the primary ball carrier, which is something different,” said Elimimian, who registered a season-high nine defensive tackles in the Labour Day Classic.
“Usually, most quarterbacks are handing off to a running back or even to a receiver. With Streveler, you can’t vacate the perimeter until you make sure that he doesn’t have the ball. Even when you get there, you have to stay on your feet and man up because he’s a big guy and, not only that, he’s pretty fast.”
Elimimian also feels the Blue Bombers’ quarterback has shown some improvements in his passing game.
“He made some good plays and some good throws in the game so I wouldn’t say that he’s a bad passer,” Elimimian said. “You just know that he’s electrifying when he has the ball in his hands.”
The Blue Bombers outscored the Riders 7-3 in the second half of the Labour Day Classic. The margin of victory was provided by Brett Lauther’s 26-yard field goal with no time remaining.
Streveler was no mad bomber while throwing the ball, but he used his legs to set up the passes that were completed.
“They didn’t call a lot of quarterback runs to start the game,” Edem said. “They saved it for when they needed something big or to create a first down.
“I expect more quarterback runs early and for them to try to get up on us and have us play from behind. They are going to throw everything at us early, especially with them being at home.”