WR Rod Streater catches a pass in practice during the Raiders off-season program.Photo by Tony Gonzales
Rod Streater, an undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver out of Temple University, started playing football when he was nine years old. It wasn't too many years later that he decided he wanted to play football forever. "When I was like 12 or 13, I started to get more and more into NFL games and watching it and knew it was something I wanted to do the rest of my life," said Streater.
He took his football talents to Temple University in Philadelphia, only a half an hour outside of his hometown of Bremerton, N.J., after transferring from Alfred State. "Playing at Temple, it was a great experience," said Streater. "It really made me become a tougher person just because of the program and the coaches we had. It wasn't really a very pass heavy school so that's probably why I was under the radar for awhile."
Despite being overlooked, the Raiders didn't pass him up and by the end of the off-season program, the rookie wide receiver was running plays with the first team. Streater believes Temple helped prepare him well for the NFL. "It really prepared us for the NFL at Temple just the way we went at things in the meeting rooms," Streater explained. "Everything we did at Temple we kind of do with the Raiders. That's how I'm so advanced with learning plays just because our coaches were always getting on us and wanted us to learn every position because you never know where you're going to play."
Even though he's adept at learning plays, the Raiders playbook has been Streater's biggest challenge since entering the NFL. "The playbook, trying to learn each play," said Streater. "We got new plays every day. They had to give us a new binder because we have so many plays."
Streater tries to model his game after Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson. "I could watch Calvin Johnson every day," said Streater. "He's my inspiration."
"I'm a quiet person," said Streater. "I like to just leave it all on the field. My game speaks for me. I play hard every play. I'm explosive out there; I'm a pretty explosive receiver."
His on-field inspiration may be Johnson, but his biggest influence is his mom and dad. "They've been there, pushing me, since I began," said Streater. "They told me everything was possible and just to follow my dreams. Whatever gets in my way, just conquer it and never let anybody stop me from achieving my goals."
Streater will heed his parents' advice again when he reports for his first NFL training camp at the end of July where he will fight for a spot on the Raiders 53-man roster.