Bucs WR Tommy Streeter Eager to Prove He’s Not a ‘Practice Champion’
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiving corps has drawn a lot of attention during training camp practices, with big-bodied targets Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, at times, getting the best of the secondary. But there’s another statuesque target who has the physical makings of both Jackson and Evans, and he’s put together a break-out performance in camp, despite getting little media attention — former Miami Hurricanes wideout Tommy Streeter.
Streeter joined the Buccaneers’ practice squad during the final two weeks of the season last year. A sixth-round draft pick in 2012, he’d been released by the Ravens following a foot injury during the preseason.
He may have only started one year for the Canes, but he has all the physical makings to be a real threat on the offense, including a 6-foot-5, 215 frame and 4.37 speed. Now he’s learning to use them both to his advantage.
“I try to take after Vincent a lot, a guy of his size — this is the first time in my life where I’ve actually been on a team with a guy, who I feel has the same physical stature, same body type as me, he’s been successful on this level. His resume speaks for itself, so I try to learn as much as I can from him.”
Streeter said he’s most impressed with Jackson’s ability to attack the ball.
“He doesn’t wait for any balls to come, he goes and gets them. That’s something I’m constantly trying to do.”
He also believes Jackson doesn’t get enough credit for his physicality in the run game.
“A lot of times you see him make aggressive catches in traffic, between guys going up for balls, but he’s just as physical in the run game on safeties and cornerbacks.”
As for Streeter himself, he’s been working on his pad level, trusting his hands, improving his concentration and getting his eyes and hands on the same level. Vision has been a big part of it too, which will allow him fly downfield and making touch catches.
“That’s something I’ve been constantly working on, trying to catch different objects — tennis balls, softballs, footballs — just trying to expand my range and depth perception,” said Streeter, eager to show some of what he’s been doing in practice in hopes of earning a roster spot.
“You’re out here in practice, making plays, but what are you gonna do when the lights come on? It really speaks volumes to your game. That’s what the coaches want to see. You don’t want to be known as that guy who’s a ‘practice champion’ or a guy that just does good in practice. You want all of your hard work and everything you’ve done in the offseason and in meetings to carry over to the game time.”
He’s not putting any added pressure on himself this preseason though, and some of that might have to do with the fact that he’s already dealt with being cut, an injury and bouncing back when he signed with Tampa Bay.
“I don’t feel pressure. I have this mentality with myself that I can live with failure. I can’t live with not trying. It’s crazy how powerful fear is. Fear can cripple you right now. It’s not only the uncertainty of the future but it has so much power in the moment. I don’t want to be one of those guys that lives with regret.”