KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Rod Streater is one of two veteran wide receiver additions during the offseason to the Chiefs’ roster.
Sixth-year pro Mike Williams, who signed a one-year deal in late April, missed organized team activities (OTAs) with a hamstring injury, putting him behind with on-field work.
And it was reasonable to think Streater, who signed a one-year deal in March, could also need acclimating to the offensive scheme when considering the complexity of coach Andy Reid’s version of the West Coast offense.
But the 28-year-old Streater hasn’t experienced issues and hit the ground running during the recently concluded OTAs.
“I got in a little bit early and got with the guys and learned a little bit of plays early on,” Streater said. “They really brought me in and got the playbook and really jumped into it. I’ve been in the league for four years, so it wasn’t too hard to fit in and start making plays.”
The 6-2, 195-pound Streater entered the league in 2012 out of Temple with the Oakland Raiders. And it was Streater’s collegiate career in Philadelphia that originally caught the eye of Reid, then the Eagles coach.
Streater apparently hasn’t missed a step from what Reid was accustomed to seeing and the Chiefs head coach is pleased with the wideout’s effort.
“I like what I’ve seen,” Reid said. “I liked him when he was at Oakland; I liked him when he was at Temple. I had a chance to take a sneak peek at him there. He’s catching on.”
Streater’s best season statistically came in 2013 when he totaled 888 yards receiving and four touchdowns on 60 catches before injuries derailed the past two seasons.
With the injuries behind him, Streater is ready to contribute.
“I feel like I’m back,” he said. “I had to come back from a couple of injuries and get through all that, but I feel like I’m healthy now and ready to go.”
The Chiefs, if they choose, could certainly use Streater’s pre-injury production at the X position (split end) opposite of Jeremy Maclin, who plays the Z position (flanker).
Since Reid arrived in 2013, Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins, Frankie Hammond Jr., Junior Hemingway, Albert Wilson and Chris Conley have logged starts at the No. 2 wide receiver spot.
Avery, who is no longer on the team, had 40 catches for 596 yards and two touchdowns in 2013. He combined with Jenkins, Hammond, Hemingway and Wilson at the No. 2 spot in 2014 to produce 56 catches for 682 yards and no touchdowns.
Wilson started 12 games in 2015, totaling 35 catches for 451 yards and two touchdowns, while then-rookie Conley started two games at the No. 2 position, producing three catches for 59 yards in Weeks 4-5.
Should the Chiefs stay with Wilson or Conley lined up outside, the team has a luxury to move Streater inside at the slot wide receiver.
And playing inside is what Streater believes he can do best in the Chiefs offense because of his size.
“Lining up in the slot going up against nickels (cornerbacks), I feel like I can beat nickels,” Streater said. “It’s a mismatch.”
Streater’s versatility to play outside or inside stood out the most to quarterback Alex Smith throughout OTAs.
The Chiefs signal caller has also come away impressed with how quickly Streater has picked up the offensive scheme.
“When he is in there, no matter what we’re doing – and we have a lot in right now – he doesn’t blink,” Smith said. “You can tell he’s prepared, he does his studying, he does his preparation, and then going out there and winning. He’s certainly done a great job with that when he’s had his one-on-ones, you can see he separates and he wins.”
With Maclin locked in as a starter, the Chiefs are set for heavy competition at the split end and slot positions heading into the three-day mandatory minicamp, and then training camp.
Streater, however, welcomes the upcoming battles with a view to eventually make an impact.
“However I can fit in – outside, inside – wherever Coach wants to put me,” Streater said. “That where I’m going to make plays.”
Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for The Topeka Capital-Journal and ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.