KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Signs pointed to ascending career for wide receiver Rod Streater in his first two seasons with the Oakland Raiders.
And rightfully so when considering he produced 1,422 yards receiving and seven touchdowns on 99 catches from 2012-13.
But Streater’s 2014 campaign saw him deal with a foot injury that cost him 13 games, and then he spent most of the 2015 season as a healthy inactive under Oakland’s new coaching staff.
Streater, who signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs over the past weekend, didn’t hold animosity to the way his four-year stint in Oakland ended.
“It kind of came to the transition of a new coach,” Streater said Tuesday in a conference call with Chiefs beat writers. “They kind of had who they wanted to play and had a bunch of great receivers last year that produced, and I kind of fell back on the depth chart.
“I was a healthy scratch and gave it my all in practice and was ready to go, but you got to respect the coaches and what their decision was.”
And with an opportunity to re-energize his career, Streater left no doubt where he is health-wise and mentally.
“I’m ready to go,” he said emphatically.
The 6-3, 195-pound Streater provides depth to a Chiefs’ wide receiver corps currently consisting of Streater, Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson, Chris Conley, De’Anthony Thomas, Frankie Hammond Jr., Fred Williams, Da’Ron Brown, Kenny Cook and Kashif Moore.
“We are happy that we were able to bring Rod to Kansas City,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “He’s strong, both mentally and physically, and will provide us an additional threat to our passing game.”
Streater, whose best season came in 2013 when he produced 888 yards receiving and four touchdowns on 60 catches, can line up at a variety of positions.
But he pointed out a spot on offense where he is comfortable and could thrive.
“Some of my biggest strengths is the fact I’m 6-3 and I can play the slot,” Streater said. “I’ve pretty much my whole career played slot. I’ve played outside, I’m pretty versatile.
“I think wherever the Chiefs want to put me at, I feel I can go against a nickel (cornerback), whoever it is in the slot, and I’ll ultimately win.”
Wherever the Chiefs elect to utilize Streater, he must first learn coach Andy Reid’s version of the West Coast offense, a scheme widely-regarded as complex.
Streater said he is familiar with the system from watching film and he saw it in action while on the sidelines whenever the Chiefs played the Raiders.
Kansas City’s newest wide receiver will also have an opportunity to learn from teammates when the Chiefs report for offseason workouts in late April.
“I’ll get in there early, get with (quarterback) Alex Smith and the guys and get right to work,” Streater said. “Being a pro, that’s what you have to do. It’s not that unfamiliar to me. I feel like I can pick it up pretty fast.”
While Streater and Maclin offer the most NFL experience, Streater said the Chiefs didn’t disclose his exact role when he signed.
The Chiefs have time to clearly define what will be asked of Streater, but, for now he will compete.
And vying for playing time is a challenge he happily accepts.
“In the end, that’s what it’s all about,” Streater said. “I mean, you’re going to have to compete and earn it in OTAs (organized team activities), minicamp, and once you get into (training) camp and preseason. I’m going to have to earn it any way, make plays, so that’s my focus right now.”