Easy Streater: Raiders' Rod Impressive In Camp
By Bess Shapiro
He is a year younger and has a year less experience than Denarius Moore, but Oakland Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater, 25, is demonstrating in training camp that he’s not content to be second fiddle to his counterpart. After a week of training camp, patterns are emerging, the starting roster is firming up and Streater is having a great summer.
The second-year man out of Temple had an impressive rookie year as an un-drafted free agent. Streater had 39 receptions last season for 584 yards, outgaining fellow wideout and 2012 fifth-round draft pick Juron Criner, by 433 yards. Moore was Carson Palmer’s second-favorite target last year behind Brandon Myers, which makes him the man to beat. But Streater is spoiling the party.
Both Streater and Moore are listed as starters, but Streater has been the most impressive receiver in training camp, making tough over-the-shoulder catches. According to Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group, Streater “could emerge as the go-to receiver for (QB Matt) Flynn & Co. because they’re relatively certain he’ll come down with the ball.” Streater has beaten cornerback Mike Jenkins and the tight coverage of CB Tracy Porter to come down with tough grabs.
Moore, 24, and Criner, 23, have not made much of an impact at training camp yet. In the meantime, other receivers are showing flashes of brilliance, including Greg Jenkins, undrafted rookie Connor Vernon, and Andre Holmes. Vernon got hurt, adding to Oakland’s training camp injury woes and Holmes is facing a four-game suspension. None has had the consistency of Streater.
Dennis Allen says Streater’s confidence has improved over last year as has his route running. “The guy works extremely hard. He’s going to continue to get better,” the Raiders coach said.
Moore and Streater have a similar Achilles heel: dropped balls. Moore dropped nine passes last season; Streater dropped seven. That puts them both on the list of top 10 wide receivers with the highest percentage of dropped, catchable balls, according to Pro-Football Focus: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/01/21/signature-stats-drop-rate-wide-receivers/. Streater still had fewer dropped balls than Moore and a higher average yards per catch (15.0 vs. 14.5) last season. At 6-3, Streater is also taller than the 6-0 Moore, giving him an advantage over bigger defenders.
Moore is no slouch. He caught 51 passes for 741 yards last season and his rookie campaign was every bit as impressive as Streater’s. Still, his average yards per catch were down from 18.7 in 2011 to 14.5 in 2012. Earlier this week he reminded Raider fans why he is a starter, making a sliding catch on a pass from Flynn. Allen, who is non-committal on a go-to receiver, said Moore needs to work on his concentration at training camp this week.
“To be the go-to guy you’ve got to see yourself as the go-to guy,” Allen says.
Streater is dominating at the moment and would seem to want it more than Moore.