On Terrelle Pryor’s first pass of the season, he connected with wide receiver Rod Streater for a gain of 9 yards.
Four plays later, Pryor threw to Streater again, this time for an 18-yard gain. On Oakland’s second possession, Pryor found Streater again for another 18-yard pickup.
Less than 15 minutes into the 2013 season, Streater already had three catches for 45 yards, and it was clear that he and Pryor were on the same page.
By the end of the game, Streater – who earned a starting job with his performance in training camp -- had been targeted a team-high eight times, had five catches and a team-best 70 yards receiving in the Raiders’ 21-17 opening-game loss to the Colts in Indianapolis.
The five catches in a game matched his career-high.
The numbers were a big step up from 2012, when the undrafted rookie from Temple started just two games and had 39 catches for 584 yards and three touchdowns. And Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said it might be a sign of big things ahead for Streater in 2013.
“I do think there’s some comfortableness with Rod,” Allen said of the Streater-Pryor connection. “And I’ve seen a lot of improvement out of Rod and I expect even more out of Rod Streater because I think he has the ability to be a very good player in this league.”
The Jacksonville Jaguars, who come to Oakland Sunday for the Raiders’ home opener, certainly noticed what Streater did.
“It appears that he’s a go-to guy for them, to where (Pryor) will look for him,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley told the Bay Area media Wednesday in a conference call. “We know (Pryor has) other receivers as well, but (Streater) is a guy that seems to be targeted quite a bit.”
As Pryor noted this week, Streater has a knack for being able to move and get open even on plays that get extended because of Pryor’s ability to move around in the pocket and scramble. Based on Pryor’s Game 1 performance against the Colts, that might be a huge part of the Raiders offense this season.
“I think he’s real good at just following and knowing to move with me instead of staying still or going up and down,” Pryor told Matt Kawahara of the Sacramento Bee.
Pryor and Streater worked together often this past offseason and became very familiar with one another. In team practices, too, Kawahara noted that quarterbacks and receivers go through scramble drills, in which the quarterback runs around to avoid the rush, and receivers have to continue to move to get open. Streater has learned from those drills.
“We kind of understand each other,” Streater told the Bee. “I kind of have a thing, understand kind of where to go and when he’s going to scramble, things like that.”
During training camp, offensive coordinator Greg Olson called Streater the most consistent wide receiver and lauded his leadership skills.
“When we talk about self starters and self-motivated people, Rod Streater’s that guy,” Olson said. “In that (wide receivers) room, to me, he’s the leader in that room based upon his work ethic, his preparation and the way he approaches the game.”