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Steve Keim: Chris Streveler Earned Backup QB Spot

Simmons will get better in 'big-boy league'

Chris Streveler remains one of the more fascinating parts of the Cardinals' roster after being named backup quarterback, but GM Steve Keim emphasized Friday morning Streveler's spot on the depth chart ahead of Brett Hundley wasn't a gameplan thing for the 49ers nor even a short-term possibility.

"We thought Streveler had a fantastic camp and came in and won the job," Keim said during an appearance on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station. "It just so happens the guy brings some extra flexibility and can do different things for you. Can play special teams, is gritty, tough, can run the football, has good size, is physical. All the things combined really impressed us this offseason and earned him that No. 2 spot."

Among the other topics Keim addressed:

-- Keim was excited about what was seen out of linebacker Isaiah Simmons.

"He's a guy who has room for growth, which is exactly what you anticipated," Keim said. "This guy has tremendous skills, he's extremely smart. The only way you're going to grow and get better is to grow from your mistakes.

"It's a big-boy league. We know that. They get paid too. The biggest thing that comes from it, and why he's better from the experience, is that he stepped on the field in high school and was the best player on the field. He went to Clemson and he was the best athlete on the field at Clemson University. Now he's not the best. He's one of the best athletes, but he has to become the best football player."

-- He was downplaying the 1-0 start, not dismissing that it's a good start or that it isn't good for the locker room, but noting "at the same time, it's one win."

"My old friend Bruce Arians used to always tell me, the elevator ride from the penthouse to the outhouse is a quick one," Keim said. "I always kept that in mind."

-- Keim praised the offensive line play, saying it was as good as guard Justin Pugh has played since arriving in Arizona and that backup center Lamont Gaillard was "exceptional" considering he had never played in a game. He also said he feels the Cardinals have depth for every position, with the Cards comfortable if Gaillard or Justin Murray or Max Garcia having to come in to play.

-- The running and scrambling of Kyler Murray can test a general manager's nerves at times.

"It's a double-edged sword," Keim acknowledged. "It's one of those things you don't want to take away from his skillset that's so unusual, but at the same time you want to make sure he protects himself." Keim noted he can be worried sometimes, but then Murray scrambles around to make a "mindblowing" play and "you say, 'That's what makes Kyler Murray Kyler Murray.' "

-- Keim had a good line when asked about Larry Fitzgerald's heads-up play to get the ball to the officials with the clock running down at the end of the first half in San Francisco.

"It was only appropriate because he was probably the only guy who has ever been a ballboy on the field," Keim said. "He is a special player, he is a special human."

-- He reiterated that wide receiver Andy Isabella made "huge strides" in training camp. Isabella didn't get the opportunities to get the ball in Week One, but there are so many other options -- like Hopkins, Fitzgerald, Drake, Edmonds, Arnold and Kirk. "It's a good problem to have for Kyler," Keim said.

Cardinals GM Steve Keim, masked, at a training camp practice in 2020