Well Raider Nation, it’s that time of year again when the news runs dry, and we wait for Training Camp to begin. In order to break up the monotony of the dead space, I will be breaking down positions and specific players over the next several weeks. I look forward to discussing my opinions with Raider Nation, so keep your comments coming.
There seems to be some kind of misconception about the WR position in the NFL. People are always calling for a number one WR or a number two. Who is it? Why not this guy? Maybe this other guy can take over the spot? These questions seem to linger in Oakland these days. Why? Is it due to the fact that knowing who the number one WR is would make for an automatic 1,000 yard receiver? Or is it just to see who will line up as the X or Y receiver? Who will be in the slot?
To be completely honest with you, I don’t care who is labeled as number one, two, three, four, etc…, as long as they do their job. What is a wide-outs job? Primarily, the WR’s role is to catch passes from the QB. Duh, right. However, there are specific roles assigned to each WR based on their particular set of skills. The better questions to be asking would be: Who are the Raiders possession receivers, and who are the deep threat receivers? Who will be the back of the end-zone threat?
Look, I’m just a humble fan of the Oakland Raiders, and I base a lot of my opinions off of the things I see on film and stat sheets. I also watch as a player develops, check out their interviews, listen to and read things being said about that particular player, and then I form my opinion. Two things that stand out most for me are how hard they practice/train, and game day performances. I don’t really care if they are drafted or undrafted, because I don’t think that’s a measure to how well a player will perform. There have been too many draft-day busts out there.
So, in my opinion, #80-Rod Streater appears to be the clear number one wide-out in Oakland today. I believe he has the best chance at becoming the first 1,000 yard receiver since Randy Moss in 2005.
Rod Streater (#80)-
Here is a player who stands 6’3″ tall and weighs in at around 200 pounds. An undrafted rookie out of Temple in 2012, Streater quickly earned the respect of his teammates for his outstanding work ethic and practice performances. He quickly rose to the top of the depth chart and was rewarded with a starting role in the first game of the 2012 season against the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. Things seemed to be going right for Streater when he caught his first NFL career pass from Carson Palmer in the first quarter, but he fumbled the ball while being tackled. Streater experienced highs and lows in 2012, and he ranked 4th on the receiver depth chart with 39 receptions for 584 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Instead of hanging his head and sulking away into obscurity, Streater used the 2013 off-season to improve himself as a receiver. He realized that one of his biggest weaknesses was route running and he had a lot of dropped balls. So Streater employed the necessary tools and trainers to help himself get better. Once again, Streater improved his depth chart position by performing exceptionally well in OTA’s, Mini-Camp, and Training Camp in 2013. This earned him a starting role as the number one receiver heading into 2013. Streater made the most of this opportunity, and he caught 60 passes for 888 yards and 4 touchdowns, which led the team in receptions and yards receiving. His 4 touchdowns were second only to Denarius Moore who had 5 touchdowns. All of this while the Raiders struggled to find a starting QB between Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin. One thing that Streater excelled at in 2013, he developed a knack for getting open/finding the open areas.
Now, as we close in on the 2014 season and Training Camp, Streater has once again been a standout at OTA’s and Mini-Camp. With Streater, you know he will be giving it his all in Training Camp as he looks to separate himself from the pack of 11 WR’s currently on the Oakland Raiders roster. The difference this year, he has a QB who will be throwing him the ball in 2014. In Matt Schaub, Streater gets a veteran QB who has had a lot of success in Houston with another #80, Andre Johnson. Furthermore, Streater was one of the first players called by Schaub when he was signed by Oakland, and they immediately began building that rapport by meeting and holding private workouts/receiving sessions.
With Schaub handling the rock in 2014, I believe that Streater will eclipse the 1,000 yard mark and possibly make it to double-digit touchdown numbers. The other advantage that Streater will have in 2014 will be the cast of outstanding receivers and players around him. An improved OL, two very good RB’s in Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew, Marcel Reece (Of Course!), Mychal Rivera, and the cast of WR’s around Streater (James Jones, Denarius Moore, Brice Butler, Andre Holmes, Greg Little, Greg Jenkins, Mike Davis, Seth Roberts, Rashaan Vaughn, and Juron Criner) will make for a powerful receiving year for the Raiders. Granted, not all WR’s listed will make the roster, but it gives Raider Nation an indication that the Raiders are exploring all possibilities at making this part of their game better.
So Raider Nation, if you’re looking for the number one WR on the Oakland Raiders, look no farther than #80-Rod Streater. He has all the intangibles: WR size, strength, speed, great hands, dedication, agility, team leadership role, and he’s a pivotal member of the Oakland Community. Streater is the WR who can make the tough catches and get open when necessary, and he is not afraid to sacrifice his body. He will be among the players who will usher in a new winning era in Oakland Raiders history, mark my words. Now, enjoy some highlights from Rod Streater’s days in Oakland courtesy of YouTube: