Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Streveler throws a pass during first half CFL football action against the Montreal Alouettes in Montreal, Friday, June 22, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

With big test against Ticats coming up, Bombers rookie QB Streveler staying humble

WINNIPEG — Chris Streveler doesn’t need public accolades to boost his confidence.

The rookie Blue Bombers quarterback was named one of the CFL’s top performers Tuesday for his role in Winnipeg’s 56-10 thumping of the Montreal Alouettes last Friday.

In only his second professional game and first victory, the University of South Dakota grad completed 22 of 28 pass attempts for 246 yards with three touchdowns. He tacked on 10 runs for 98 yards, including one for a touchdown.

“I get my confidence from my teammates around me,” Streveler said after Tuesday’s practice. “I have a lot of confidence in them and I hope that as we continue to grow that they can gain confidence in me.

“My confidence doesn’t come from any yards or statistics or player of the week (awards). It comes from working with my teammates and just growing with them.”

Streveler was voted second among the Top 3 performers. Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was first and Hamilton Tiger-Cats pivot Jeremiah Masoli third.

“I don’t really look too much into accolades,” said Streveler, who leads the CFL in TD passes with six. “I know that’s probably not the answer you’re looking for, but it’s about the team.

“So we won last week. That’s in the past. We put that in the past a few days ago. We’re moving forward. We’re playing a really good opponent this weekend (Hamilton), so all that stuff, you know, that is what it is. It doesn’t really change how we’re preparing this week at all.”

Streveler was anointed the starter after Matt Nichols went down with a knee injury during a June 6 training-camp practice. He’s expected to be out four to six weeks.

Head coach Mike O’Shea predicted Streveler wouldn’t make a big deal out of the weekly award because “he’s such a good man.”

“He’s very level-headed,” he said. “Obviously, he’s accomplished what he has accomplished so far because he’s kept an even keel, and I don’t think that’s about to change.”

The 23-year-old set 20 program records at South Dakota and is feeling fortunate these days.

“I’m just happy to be playing football,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who don’t get the opportunity to play football after college at the next level.

“So to be up here getting to go through the process of watching film and learning every day and getting to go out on the field and play, whether it’s a game or practice, I’m just having a ton of fun with that.”

He acknowledged one area he needs to work on is using his feet more wisely.

“There’s times where I could be a little bit smarter and get down and get out of bounds when possible and take some hits off,” he said.

Bombers offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice said Streveler is improving the quickness of his reads. The two are also developing a give-and-take approach to play calling.

“Certainly one of the best things he told me at halftime last week is, ‘I don’t like this play, this play and this play,’” LaPolice said. “Perfect, because now I’m not calling those.”

However, the veteran coach did temper his praise for the native of Crystal Lake, Ill.

“Success is based over a period of time, but he’s certainly done a very good job,” LaPolice said. “I have not seen a young quarterback step in and play (the way he has), but we’re only talking two (games). He’s won one game and lost one game.”

Taking on Hamilton’s defence will be a challenge. The Ticats (1-1) are coming off a 38-21 road victory over Edmonton.

“They play hard, they play physical,” LaPolice said of Hamilton’s defenders. “They do a lot of different things and they’ve gotten offences uncomfortable the last two weeks.”

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