Rod Streater will begin his third season with the Raiders. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Rod Streater’s Twitter feed is filled with inspirational messages.
In recent days, the Raiders wide receiver has posted such messages as “It’s never too late to be what you might have been” and “There will always be negative voices trying to talk you out of your dreams. But God is saying, ‘You’ve got what it takes.’ ”
Streater, a former undrafted free agent in 2012 out of the non-football factory of Temple, is an overachiever who apparently lives by the words in his inspirational tweets. He’s gone from afterthought to the verge of stardom.
And in 2014, he could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of a new quarterback and an upgraded offensive line.
After catching 39 passes for 584 yards as a rookie in 2012, “Hot Rod” started 14 games in 2013 and made 60 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns while playing with quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin.
With veteran Matt Schaub now in place behind a revamped offensive line that may provide more time to throw, it seems very likely that Streater can take a big leap forward in 2014 to become a 1,000-yard receiver -- if Schaub regains his form.
Certainly, Streater makes the most of his opportunities. He averaged 15 yards per catch as a rookie, and 14.8 in his second season, just behind the team-leading 15.1 yard average of Denarius Moore. Streater ranked 27th in the NFL in yards per catch.
Now, too, Streater will likely be lined up opposite veteran James Jones, the former Packer. The presence of Jones and Moore will mean defenses can’t focus too heavily on Streater.
Ever since coming to the Raiders and wowing players and coaches with a terrific training camp to make the team in 2012, Streater has been known as a hard worker and leader – pluses to go along with his good hands and 6-foot-3 frame.
“I think when you’re talking about self-starters and self-motivated people, Rod Streater is that guy in the room to me,” said Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson last season. “He’s the leader in that room just based upon his work ethic, his preparation and the way he approaches the game. I’m happy with Rod Streater.”
It was expected that the Raiders would draft a receiver high in the recent draft, but instead Oakland went in other directions. But Streater, now working out with his teammates in the Raiders’ organized team activities (OTAs), could prove to be one of the NFL’s best wideouts in 2014 if his arc of improvement continues to climb the way it did his first two seasons as a pro.