Editor’s note: This is the first part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Giants matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m., at MetLife Stadium.
Raiders WR Rod Streater vs. Giants CB Trumaine McBride
Tale of the tape:
Streater (80): 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, second season, Temple
McBride (38): 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, sixth season, Mississippi
Raiders receiver Rod Streater is a player on the rise. That’s Greg Olson’s take after a series of strong performances punctuated by Sunday’s effort against Philadelphia.
He had five catches for 98 yards in a losing effort, yet showed the dependability required of a good possession receiver.
“We ask from the wide receivers as well, that every day they try to get a little bit better,” Olson said. “We want them to make sure their arrow is going up and not leveling out or going down. Rod has been one of those guys that has stayed on that type of an arc.”
Improved play has come from better understanding of the scheme and the quarterback he’s playing with. Streater spent significant time working with Terrelle Pryor this offseason, which established an on-field chemistry so crucial when playing with a mobile quarterback. Streater is better at breaking defenses down before the snap, knowing when to adjust his route accordingly.
So much is expected of the second-year pro and former undrafted free agent that he pushes to accelerate his learning curve.
“I feel like I’m really starting to understand the offense and my role within it,” Streater said. “I’m trying to focus more on the game plan and how to take advantage of individual matchups as well. I try to study as much as possible so that, when I sit down with the coaches, I understand everything that’s going on.”
That includes route changes that take advantage of a defensive alignment, a difficult task to master between quarterback and receiver.
“Sight adjustments have gotten a lot better, and it’s clear that Terrelle and I are on the same level,” Streater said. “We missed a few of them earlier in the year, and we have been working to play right in those situations.”
Knowledge is helping him improve on his physical talent. Streater is a graceful route runner unafraid to go over the middle. He’s made some big plays this season, but wants to be a consistent threat in a passing game.
He has a great chance to do so Sunday against the New York Giants. Streater is expected to matchup with Trumaine McBride, although he showed up on the injury report with a groin strain. At 6-foot-3, Streater towers over the 5-9 McBride, which could produce some big plays in one-on-one matchups. If McBride can’t go, the Giants will sink down their depth chart to cover Streater. Either way, Streater should dominate a matchup the Raiders hope to exploit.
“We need to get open fast and beat man-to-man coverage,” Streater said. “There were moment in the last game where I could’ve had catches had I made the right decision. That’s happening more often as I get more comfortable out there.”