With no Andre Johnson at OTAs right now, DeAndre Hopkins and the wide receivers will be getting even more reps during practice. Hopkins hopes to use the opportunities he has this offseason to improve different aspects of his game, especially his route running.
“I’m nowhere close to where I want to be," Hopkins said on Wednesday. "Not even close. I have a lot of things I need to work on and I’m doing that this offseason."
With a new coaching staff, new system, and new group of quarterbacks, it feels like last year, learning a whole new scheme all over again under head coach Bill O’Brien.
“It’s not been easy; I’m not going to lie,” Hopkins said. “It’s a new playbook, you have to refocus, you have to do everything you did your rookie year all over again, but I feel like I know how to prepare better than last year, just going out and learning from Andre (Johnson) and doing things like that, and I feel like I’m becoming a better player overall.”
“He’s a hard worker,” O’Brien said. “He’s a young player. This is a brand new system for him so it’s difficult because he had a rookie year, now he’s having to learn a new system. I think he’s working really hard. He takes the coaching well. He’s a big guy. He’s a physical player. He’s learning a new way of doing things relative to our offense and I think he comes out there and tries to get better every day.”
Hopkins finished as the #50 WR in 2013, posting 52 catches for 802 yards and two touchdowns, a solid season for a rookie wideout playing along an established veteran like Andre Johnson. Hopkins would be better off if he didn't have to learn a new offense this summer, but he may see a ton of targets if Johnson doesn't eventually report to camp.