Harbaugh: Tommy Streeter's Development Won't Take As Long As Some Think


When the Ravens drafted wide receiver Tommy Streeter in the sixth round, they knew he would be a project.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound wideout has the size and speed to develop into a dangerous vertical threat in the Ravens offense, but that talent is still raw.

Head Coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that Streeter is a "developmental guy," but said that the learning process may not take as long as some are suggesting.

"It's going to take some time, it's a matter of time, but I don't think it's going to be as long as some people think," Harbaugh said. "He's got all the tools in the world. He's got a good vision for what he wants to become as a player."

As the Ravens opened training camp this week, Streeter continued his competition battle with some of the other young receivers for a coveted roster spot. He has primarily taken reps with the second- and third- team offense.

Working behind veteran receivers like Anquan Boldin, however, has given Streeter a valuable chance to sit back and learn.

"These past few days have been a learning process," Streeter said Friday. "It's been great to watch the veteran guys."

Since the rookie class arrived in Baltimore back in May, Streeter's time has been marked by a series of ups and downs. He's shown off his blazing speed and made some impressive catches, but he has also dropped passes and taken some ribbing from his teammates.

"I've made mistakes and also made a few plays," Streeter said. "I'm just trying not to make the same mistake twice. I'm trying to come out here, compete at a high level, have fun and continue to get better each day.

"Every day is not going to be a good day, but as long as you can stack days on top of each other, where you learned something and got better, then in the long run everything will come together and you'll get in good position."

In the time between the first rookie minicamp and the start of training camp, Streeter said he has already noticed an improvement in his game. He's gained a better understanding of the offense and also polished his route running.

"It's just been a continued process to get better in route running and I feel like I have gotten better by far," Streeter said.

An area where Streeter could see himself making an impact this season is in the red zone. As a big receiver, he's able to leap over smaller defenders and execute on fade routes to the corner of the endzone.

He flourished as a red-zone target last season at Miami, and finished the season with 967 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

"The red zone is a place where I thrive," Streeter said. "I feel like being of my stature and my skill set, that's one place where I'm able to use all that."

To get the chance to become a red-zone threat, Streeter first has to earn his way onto the roster at a crowded position.

Boldin, Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones are virtual locks to make the roster, leaving Streeter in a competition with second-year wideouts Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams and rookie Deonte Thompson. Third-year receiver/returner David Reed will also vie for a spot when he returns from a torn ACL.

For now, Streeter is focused on watching, learning and making the most of his opportunities in training camp.

And in time, he could develop into a dynamic receiver in this Ravens offense.

"Patience is key," Streeter said. "Football is a process because you're not going to be great overnight. It's a matter of who can last. It's a marathon, not a sprint in this game."

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