Background and college
Born August 30, 1977 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Poteat attended Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, PA and was a letterman in football, basketball, and track. In football, he was a two-time All-Conference selection as a running back and as a defensive back. He finished his college career with 136 tackles, 10 interceptions, a school-record 1,917 Kick Return yards, 90 rushing yards and 54 receiving yards. He also earned All-Big East honors as a senior after posting 55 tackles, three interceptions, nine Passes Defended and one Forced Fumble over 11 starts. He was also the last Pittsburgh defensive back before Jets 2007 first-round pick Darrelle Revis to earn All-Big East honors in back-to-back seasons. He established a single-season record as a junior with 764 Kick Return yards on 36 returns. In high school he twice earned all-conference honors as a Defensive Back/Running Back at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania High School.
Before the Jets
Poteat selected in the third round (77th overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played off the bench for the Steelers for three seasons, and was waived before the 2003-04 season. He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers later that season and appeared in one game before being waived on November 12, 2004.
Poteat signed with the New England Patriots prior to the 2004-05 playoffs and played in all three of the Patriots' playoff games en route to their victory in Super Bowl XXXIX. Poteat was released by the Patriots on August 29, 2006. Poteat was re-signed on September 27, 2006, after the Patriots placed Randall Gay on injured reserve. Poteat was released again by the Patriots on October 9, 2006 in order to clear a roster spot for Jabar Gaffney.
As a Jet
A day after his release from the Patriots, Poteat signed with the Jets. On February 21, 2007, the Jets re-signed Poteat to a one-year, $635,000 deal including $40,000 bonus money. Poteat was re-signed in the 2008 offseason on May 6, but released on August 30 during final cuts. He was re-signed three weeks into the regular season on September 25 after offensive lineman Will Montgomery was waived. In his three seasons with the Jets, Poteat played in 40 games, starting 16 of them. He had 110 tackles (81 solo), one sack and four interceptions.