ALAMEDA -- Neither Miles Burris nor Rod Streater went into their first NFL training camp expecting to emerge as a starter in their first game before a "Monday Night Football" television audience.
With less than a week to go before the Raiders open the season against the San Diego Chargers, both will have roles more prominent than most anticipated when they joined the club.
Burris, a fourth-round draft pick from San Diego State, stepped in at weakside linebacker when Aaron Curry came to training camp with sore knees and has been there ever since. With Curry out at least the first five games of the season on the physically unable to perform list, the starting job is his.
"Everybody gets ready for a game differently," Burris said Tuesday following practice. "Personally I like to watch a lot of film and try and study and know my opponent as best I can. That's how I feel more comfortable out on the field."
Streater, undrafted out of Temple, has become one of quarterback Carson Palmer's most trusted targets. With Denarius Moore having been out since Aug. 5 with a hamstring injury, Jacoby Ford battling a reoccurrence of a foot injury that cost him six games last season and Juron Criner limping at practice with a bum ankle, Streater could end up starting alongside Darrius Heyward-Bey.
"I try to stay calm and continue to do the things I did throughout camp," Streater said. "Just focus every day, try to study plays, study game plans, go out there and perform. I can't let it all get to me."
Raiders coach Dennis Allen has been measured in his assessment of the rookies throughout camp. He praised Burris' athleticism and physicality, but called him "a work in progress."
Allen likes the work Streater has put in but noted, "I'm not ready to put him in the Hall of Fame yet."
"For it to come back, that's kind of frustrating," Ford said.
Allen has said there is no structural damage, but Ford continues to get examined by doctors and only jogged for the first time Tuesday.
"It's not where I want to be yet but it's progress," Ford said. "I have to stay positive as much as possible."
The tricky part is identifying some of his new special teams teammates. Linebacker Keenan Clayton and cornerbacks Phillip Adams and Coye Francies were all added to the 53-man roster primarily to be core special teams players.
"You pass 'em in the hallway and don't know who they are," Lechler said. "I wish they would wear their jerseys all the time so you can tell who everybody is."
"They see something in me to keep me around here," Chekwa said. "I've got confidence in myself. My main focus is to keep working and continue to get better. I know I'll get that shot and when I do, I hope to make the most of it."