The San Francisco 49ers made a pair of trades over the final week of the preseason, adding wide receivers to their depleted depth chart. The team traded Brandon Thomas to the Detroit Lions for Jeremy Kerley, and later added Rod Streater from the Kansas City Chiefs in a deal that involved swapping 2019 conditional seventh round draft picks.
Kerley is expected to compete for slot work, while Streater at 6’2 is the team’s tallest receiver and will likely get more work outside. The 49ers added Aaron Burbridge in the 2016 NFL Draft, and that is the extent of the team’s offseason additions. Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton are expected to start on Monday against the Los Angeles Rams, but it is safe to say that in Chip Kelly’s offense, all five receivers will likely get some opportunities.
Kerley and Streater are playing catchup, given their late addition. Streater spoke to the media on Wednesday, and he talked about spending all his free time learning the playbook. Chip Kelly suggested that Kerley might be a little further ahead, beyond just timing because of his recent past. He worked with Chan Gailey’s offensive system in New York, and Gailey worked with 49ers coaches Curtis Modkins and Bob Bicknell in Buffalo. Kelly pointed to Streater’s veteran status and his ability to know enough of the basics to have a good start.
Here’s what Kelly had to say about both players:
How quickly has Jeremy Kerley gotten up to speed in the offense? Do you like what you see from him?
“We do. I think he’s a wily veteran. He’s been around. He was in [New York Jets offensive coordinator] Chan Gailey’s system when he was with the Jets and that’s where [49ers offensive coordinator] Curtis Modkins and [49ers wide receivers coach] Bob Bicknell coached with Chan in Buffalo. So, there was a gap that they could bridge. They may have called it toss when they were with the Jets, we call it this. So, I think, and he’s really smart. He’s a really smart football player. So, him being able to pick up what we’re doing offensively, there’s, not a lot is the same in terms of terminology, but to be able for our two coaches to know how he called things where he was coming from to where he is here helps. The other stop he had was in Detroit, where Curtis was last year. So, Curtis, some of the concepts and some of those things, I think having Curtis and Bob here have really helped him. But, you can tell right away that Jeremy’s a pretty smart football player.”
Where is WR Rod Streater as far as his first four days here and how much has he been able to get integrated?
“He’s the same. I think he’s picked things up rather quickly. When you get a veteran that’s been in the league, the biggest thing for those guys is just the, what’s the terminology and how do you get it in and how do you communicate. Again, for Rod, he’s been in the league for four years. Same thing with Jeremy. So, they’ve all run the same type of routes. They’ve run a fade. They’ve run a jet. They’ve run a post. They’ve run a corner. They’ve run a shallow cross. You know, all the routes that everybody runs in the NFL. It’s just kind of bridging that gap from a terminology standpoint and Rod has picked it up well. It’s been unique with Jeremy because of the overlap with the coaching systems that Curtis and Bob Bicknell have with where Jeremy’s been in the past. But, it’s not like Rod’s behind from that standpoint.”
Here is a rundown of Streater’s comments earlier this week. You can view video here.
It’s a little bit more up-tempo, a little more fast. I like it, though. The receivers are all interchangeable. You can play any position, just like I like. It’s a really good offense, I feel like I fit here.
On if his size fits what Chip Kelly does:
Yea, I think he likes the guys tat can fit inside and outside, with speed. And you gotta be smart. And I feel like I can learn the plays really fast, I can play inside and outside. That’s what’s most important. Just learning the plays and being able to be interchangeable.
On getting used to the speed of the offense:
I’m getting there, I’m getting there. I think I get more in shape after each practice. I’m getting used to it, and it’s something I can get used to.
On his former OC Bill Musgrave bringing anything similar given time with Chip Kelly in Philly:
There’s a couple players with different names. I just gotta erase that and get used to the new plays, just a couple different plays.
On if he thinks he’ll get more opportunities here:
I believe so. I get the vibe. Like I said, I’ve gotta learn the plays first before anything.
On hunger for the opportunity:
I’m hungry. Man, a new opportunity, they brought me in, I’m just ready to prove ‘em right.
On tempo and needing to hustle out as a reserve:
You gotta be ready at all times, you know. Whether they’re tired or they’ve got a play written up for you, you’ve gotta be ready to go. And that’s at every position.
On Bruce Miller issues:
You know, that’s for the management to handle.
On impressions of Blaine Gabbert:
He has quick release, very athletic, gets the ball to you fast, very impressed with him.
On how he spent weekend after the trade:
Just learning plays. I was in here every day, just late nights and studying with the guys to try and get the tempo, the signals down and everything.
Kerley and Chris Harper was here, and we was with the coaches.
On how he learns the plays:
I’m drawing them out on a piece of paper, and I’m trying to go through the signal in my head. I’m just going through, repeating, and sometimes we have guy that signal to us, and we’ll go through it.
On if language is more complicated here:
I feel like it’s easy to learn. Easy to grasp.
On when he arrived:
I got here Sunday morning.
How late he was here:
8, 9, pretty late, and then I go back to the hotel, and back to it.
On looking to get back on the radar after big 2013:
Yea, I’m confident in myself. I had a little setback. You can’t control that, you know? I feel like God has a plan, and brought me here for a reason. So I’m just ready to get out there and make plays.
On dealing with injuries last year with Raiders:
Going in, a little bit. I wasn’t 100 percent. After a while I got good, but by then it was pretty much too late.
On if he would be surprised if he played a lot on MNF:
I’m ready to go, yea. I’m ready to go, I’m preparing like I’m playing.