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Cardinals’ Week 11 QB Scenario Speculations

Syndication: Arizona Republic Michael Chow-Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Yesterday, the Cardinals attempted to sign QB Steve Beuchele away from the Chiefs’ practice squad. For the past several weeks the Chiefs have been designating Beuchele as one of their 4 practice squad protections. Therefore, upon hearing that the Cardinals were trying to sign Beuchele to their roster, the Chiefs elected to promote him to their own.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/chiefs-sign-practice-squad-qb-162222693.html

Had the Cardinals been able to sign Steve Beuchele, they then would have had four QBs on their current 53 man roster.

Some fans, after hearing of the Cardinals’ attempt to sign Steve Beuchele, were of the belief that the Cardinals coaches have lost faith in Chris Streveler and perhaps in Colt McCoy’s ability to start his third consecutive game in light of the strained pec muscle he suffered which knocked him out of the game last Sunday.

Here’s what I believe:

  • While Kyler Murray has been making progress in his high ankle sprain rehab, the Cardinals remain committed to keeping Murray off the field until the ankle is strong enough to allow him to play his game. RB Chase Edmonds suffered a high ankle sprain two games ago and the Cardinals elected to place him on IR, which including the bye week, will give Chase a full 4 weeks to rehab.
  • The question is, why then didn’t the Cardinals do the same with Kyler Murray? I believe that they chose not to place Kyler on the IR because they wanted the opponents to have to spend extra time preparing to defend Kyler, in the event that the Cardinals’ “game day decision” was to play Kyler. By now it is clear that Kyler was nowhere near ready to return to action.
  • If Kyler is on the field practicing today, then that would suggest he may have a good chance to start Sunday’s game. If not, it could indicate that the Cardinals have planned all along to give Kyler the same 4 weeks of rehab they are giving Chase Edmonds.
  • While the Cardinals are downplaying Colt McCoy’s pec injury and have indicated that McCoy should be good to go on Sunday, the fact that his pec injury is to the side of his throwing arm should give the coaches pause. Anyone who has tried throwing a football with a strained pec underneath their throwing arm can attest that the pain can be unbearable.
  • Therefore, I believe that the Cardinals’ attempt to sign Steve Beuchele was in the event that Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy would not be able to play this Sunday.
  • I also believe that Kliff Kingsbury remains very confident in Chris Streveler, whom he and QB coach Cam Turner have been developing while he’s been running the Cardinals’ scout team.
  • Back in March, when the Cardinals signed Colt McCoy, Kliff Kingsbury was excited to give Kyler Murray a veteran mentor and the team a seasoned QB who can still “play at a high level.” Kingsbury was also excited to think of what McCoy could do for Chris Streveler’s development, saying not only that McCoy could be “one of the best things ever” for the young QB because as far as Kingsbury is concerned, Chris Streveler is “a tremendous athlete” who has “a great future at quarterback.”
  • When Kliff Kingsbury offers such high praise for a young QB, it may behoove Cardinals’ fans to listen. Kingsbury is certainly no fool when it comes to recognizing QB talent.
  • Chris Streveler was summarily panned by a number of Cardinals’ fans for his performance versus the Rams in Week 17 last year —— but, the question is, was it fair to dismiss Strev’s ability as a young QB whose first taste of running series of plays in the NFL came on the last game of the season versus the NFL’s most daunting defense in 2020? Strev actually helped the Cardinals garner a first half lead in that game and was flat-out robbed on the pick six he threw right before the half when he assumed the Rams were off-sides on a play that should have been a freebie.
  • It was also very telling that a week later in the Wild Card round, Russell Wilson struggled and had a worse QB rating versus the Rams’ defense than Strev’s the week before.
  • Then, in Strev’s very next taste of game action versus the Cowboys in pre-season game one this year, he led the Cardinals in the second half to a game tying TD drive and then to the game winning drive while giving this kind of inspired effort:
  • In my opinion, Chris Streveler was one of the most impressive performers on the team during the two pre-season games.
  • I believe that some fans are very skeptical of Strev’s Popeye arm physique and his compact, cupped hand throwing motion. When Terry Bradshaw came into the NFL, fans were similarly skeptical for the same reasons. I don’t know if you know this, but Bradshaw actually threw the football with his index finger on the point of the ball, which is why he tended to cup the football.

Notice the difference of where Kyler places his index finger —- what’s awesome about Kyler is that his hands are 9.5” inches wide, very unusual for a player his size, which enables him to spin the ball with major league RPMs. from a variety of arm angles.

Similar to Patrick Mahomes (9.2”), which is why both Mahomes and Murray have a propensity to throw three quarter deliveries.

  • While Chris Streveler doesn’t place his index finger on the actual point of the ball, he places it as far back toward the tip as he can. Check it out:
  • Because Strev’s hand size is smaller (8.5”), he generates more control of the football with his index finger near the point which is best generated by an over the top throwing motion and delivery. This is why his compact, over the top throwing motion looks a little less fluid than the throwing motions of three quarter slingers like Mahomes and Murray.

This is good, over the top form.

  • Last Sunday relatively early in the 4th quarter, it was encouraging to see Chris Streveler lead the Cardinals on an 11 play 71 yard drive for their only TD of the day versus the Panthers’ starters and the kind of QB pressure they were applying all afternoon. Like Colt McCoy, Strev was sacked twice. But, on this drive he connected with Zach Ertz on a 17 yard pass over the middle on a 3rd and 15. Then after a completion to Christian Kirk, James Conner and the Cardinals’ offensive line took charge in the red zone. as detailed in yesterday’s “Anatomy of a James Conner 11 yard TD Run.”
  • What gives Chris Streveler a chance to prevail in games is his intense competitiveness, combines with the confidence his coaches and teammates have in him. He has shown good accuracy on his throws —- it just looks different because of how spoiled we have been watching Kyler Murray throw the football.
  • Meanwhile, the encouraging news from Cardinals’ practice is: