Tommy Streeter Learning From Ups And Downs


Tommy Streeterhad broken wide open, ready to stroll down the sideline for six points in 11-on-11 drills.

But when Curtis Painter's pass dropped into Streeter's outstretched hands, one arm was extended further than the other and the ball glanced off and fell to the turf.

Streeter heard all about it. A chorus of taunts came from the defensive backs, who were just feet away. Cary Williams called out that Streeter needed one of the defense's white jerseys because he can't catch.

Streeter got the last laugh though.

In the day's final two-minute drill, Streeter faded to the back corner of the end zone. He reached out with one hand and hauled in the pass for a highlight-reel touchdown.

The offense went berserk, and veteran Anquan Boldin yelled for Streeter to punt the ball. He did, sending his offensive teammates into even more of a tizzy.

That's how it went in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp for the Ravens' sixth-round draft pick with a bag full of tools. He would show flashes of his vast potential, but also struggle at times.

"Every day I want to get better," Streeter said. "That's part of the process, making mistakes and learning from them. I feel like it's a blessing to make them early. Then hopefully down the road I've suffered to the point that there's nothing but glory in the end."

Streeter came to Baltimore raw, but with 4.3-second, 40-yard dash speed, long arms and a 6-foot-5 frame.

He's been working on all aspects of being a wideout, from the right way to prepare for practice, to body balance and positioning and his hands. The list doesn't end there, but Streeter is chipping away at it.

One thing he's trying to perfect is being a red-zone target. Streeter and undrafted rookie quarterback Chester Stewart worked on fades after every practice. Stewart lofts the pass up and Streeter would often haul it in with one big mitt.

"[The end zone fade] is something that wasn't even in the Miami playbook until I was there," Streeter said, saying they used it once with him to score a touchdown versus Virginia Tech. "Ever since then, it's been in the playbook."

At the same time, Streeter has had stretches of difficulty at practice. His hands have let him down, or he hasn't been able to get separation from defensive backs. Streeter used to let days like that get to him.

"I used to let a day get me down and frustrate me during the course of the week to the point that if my family or anyone tried to communicate with me, I was hesitant and would distance myself because it was on my mind," Streeter said.

Streeter grew up mentally during his senior breakout campaign in Miami, when he caught 46 passes for 811 yards and eight touchdowns. With an all new set of NFL challenges, he's continued that mental development in Baltimore.

Streeter said he was glad the defensive players got on him after his drop. It's good that they expect him to make that play because he expects it of himself.

"We're all collectively a team. They're motivating me. That competitive practice makes us better," he said. "One play, one practice, one day doesn't define you as a person. At the end of the day, I'm still Tommy Streeter and I'm still happy."

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