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Raiders former top WR Rod Streater eager to get back in "rhythm" with Derek Carr

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Rod Streater has been the forgotten man around the Raiders of late. The team's former leading receiver missed most of last season with a foot injury and figures to be very much in the mix at receiver this season. But first, Derek Carr must return from his injury.

Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater catches a touchdown pass from Derek Carr in the 2014 season opener against the Jets.
Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater catches a touchdown pass from Derek Carr in the 2014 season opener against the Jets.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It seems Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater and quarterback Derek Carr have been like two ships passing in the night for a while. No sooner was Streater back on the field, ready to go but Carr was sidelined with his finger injury.

"He's out there, so I feel like he is learning." Streater said of Carr. "He is a pro. He is going to do what he has to do to make sure that he understands the plays. Obviously the timing won't be there, but we have plenty of time for him to get back and get in the rhythm. I think he is a good enough player to do that."

"It's frustrating (for me) but we'll get out there together soon and make some plays. I talked to him and told him to just be tough during these times and continue to keep your head in the game no matter what."

Streater was the Raiders top receiver in 2013 and coming into last season shaping up to be one of Carr's favorite targets. He caught Carr's very first NFL regular season touchdown pass in week one against the Jets. Through the first three games, he was second only to James Jones among wide receivers in targets (13) and catches (9). That week three game in New England was the last time he caught a pass from Carr, as Streater would break his foot and be lost for the season.

Getting back in football shape is not easy after being in a walking boot for a few months and not being allowed to have organized practices with the team. Streater is just now getting his feet under him.

"I'm feeling good. Just getting back out there, getting in the swing of the routes and trying to get the timing back down, but I am feeling good. . .  Little sore, but I feel way better coming into this Week 2 of OTAs, feel like myself and I can go out there and be myself."

In the meantime, the Raiders top two receivers are rookie first round pick Amari Cooper and free agent acquisition, Michael Crabtree. Streater is expected to push to regain his starting wide receiver spot in probably the deepest receiving corps this team has seen in a long time.

"I feel like to whole receiving group is complete," Streater added. "You can put us on the outside, put us in the slot. I feel like we really don't miss a beat. We can play outside, in, it really doesn't matter - we are all interchangeable. So, I think that's going to add a strength to us when we get out there on the field."

In last year's training camp, it became apparent Carr would be looking James Jones' way a lot. At that time Jones brought a great deal of veteran experience and leadership to the team. As a result, Jones led the team in receptions (73) in 2014. Now it's Streater's turn to take on the role of veteran leader for the new younger receivers. It's a new role for the fourth year former undrafted receiver.

"It's different," said Streater. "I talked to Amari [Cooper], I talk to Andre Debose, and just told them when you come in, you're going to want to learn each position in the playbook, no matter what they say - you go play X, you go play F. I just told them, the way I was successful was learning each position. So I just try to mentor them. Being an undrafted guy making the team, I try just to guide them like, ‘You've got to work hard. You've got to do this. You've got to do that.'  I just want to be like the guy that helped them anytime they need any advice."

"Whatever I can do to help, whatever problems I went through and I can give advice to the young guy, I try to be there for him. That's going to help us grow as a team and grow as a unit."

Until Derek Carr gets back on the field, we won't get a good idea of who will be his favorite target(s). Streater hopes to establish himself as a major player in that competition as soon as possible. Then once training camp rolls around, they can hit the ground running.