1st-round Texans pick Hopkins a quick study

1st-round Texans pick Hopkins a quick study
July 29, 2013, 5:38 pm
Share This Post

Houston Texans' Lestar Jean (18) tries to strip the ball from wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, right, in drills during the team's NFL football training camp Monday, July 29, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)


HOUSTON (AP) Houston first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins is learning a lot from Andre Johnson, even if the star receiver doesn't say very much to the rookie when the two are on the field.

Hopkins gushed about his relationship with his new teammate Monday, saying the notoriously quiet Johnson sometimes simply gives him a look to let him know his performance isn't up to par.

``He really doesn't say too much to me, but he gives me that look sometimes when I do something wrong,'' Hopkins said. ``I kind of know I didn't do my assignment. He just kind of gives me that look like: `You could have done better.'''

Hopkins feels bad when he gets that look from Johnson and it spurs him to playing better. As the longest tenured Texan, Johnson feels a responsibility to help bring along the young players and is looking forward to seeing how the new pieces help improve the offense.

``You get excited, not only just about rookies they bring in on offense, you get excited about just players they bring in period because you know that they can come out and help your team,'' Johnson said. ``I'm just anxious to get out there in the preseason game and see how it all unfolds, but you have to lay the groundwork first. That's what's most important right now, so that's what we are trying to do.''

Hopkins, a former Clemson star, has impressed the Texans so far at camp, making one-handed and otherwise acrobatic catches. While his gigantic hands, which require size 3XL gloves, are certainly large enough to snag the ball with one hand, Hopkins mostly reserves that skill for warm-ups before practice and the walk-throughs at the end of each session.

And fans are unlikely to ever see Hopkins attempt such a stunt in a game.

``I don't think I'll try to go out there and risk a one-handed catch,'' Hopkins said. ``I think I'll always try and catch it securely in a game.''

But the fact that he's able to bring down passes with only one hand should certainly help him with run-of-the-mill grabs this season.

``It just makes it a whole lot easier,'' he said with a smile.

Regardless of how he's snagging passes for the Texans, they're excited about his skills and hope he'll master the offense soon enough to start opposite Johnson and take some pressure off the 32-year-old receiver this season.

Quarterback Matt Schaub is thrilled to have another big target in his offense and said Houston's expectations for Hopkins are ``through the roof.''

``He is going to get plenty of one-on-one coverage and chances to get the football,'' Schaub said. ``We're going to get him a chance to make plays with it in his hands and he's going to do that. Big, physical, fast receiver and I'm excited to watch him get through camp here, get toward the end and get in the preseason games to see what he can do against other guys.''

He caught 82 passes and set school records with 1,405 yards receiving and 18 touchdown receptions last year. His 24 catches of 20 yards or more last season were the most in the ACC and he averaged 17.1 yards a catch in 2012.

For his three-year career at Clemson, Hopkins had 206 receptions for 3,020 yards and 27 touchdowns, becoming the sixth player in ACC history with more than 3,000 yards receiving and the only player in conference history to gain that many yards in just three seasons.

Hopkins, taken 27th overall, is just the second receiver Houston has drafted in the first round and the first since Johnson was chosen third overall in 2003.

He said his only goal for this season is to help Houston win a Super Bowl, and he'll work hard to help the team in whatever role he's given. Though he has a singular goal, he does hope to secure a starting job. The Texans believe that he'll be able to do that if he continues taking advantage of the tutelage and Johnson, who had a career-high 1,598 yards receiving last season.

``He's a worker and he gets to sit next to No. 80 (Johnson) every day, so he's learning from the right guy,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ``He's got all the ability and he's being trusted or pushed in a very quick direction and that's what we think is best for our team. We're excited to watch him grow up here - big challenge, but I know he can do it.''

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. He's ready to go as Arian Foster's caddie against the Eagles.
Oct 31 2:55PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) is listed as probable for Week 9. He'll be all systems go against the Eagles' solid run defense.
Oct 31 2:54PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. Johnson is a legitimate WR1 against the Eagles' inconsistent secondary.
Oct 31 2:53PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (illness) is expected to miss Week 9 against the Eagles. Updating a previous item, Clowney appears to be over his early-season knee injury. But he is dealing with an illness. Clowney's absence is an upgrade to Nick Foles'...
Oct 31 1:11PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More

More Team Talk