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Quotes: Offensive coordinator Dennison on Hopkins

Posted Apr 25, 2013

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison addressed the media following the announcement of WR DeAndre Hopkins as the Texans' first-round selection.

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison

(on his thoughts about WR DeAndre Hopkins) “Well, he’s a very physical receiver. He’s very strong, has very good ball skills. He catches the ball naturally. He has good run after catch, just a complete player for us.”

(on if they looked into the combine trashing of his hotel) “Enough to know that it was a non-issue.”

(on what they did to investigate the hotel issue at the combine) “We had Larry (Kirksey) check it out, our wide receivers coach, and of course, the security people. We feel real comfortable about the kid and his background and everything that he’s done at Clemson. It has all been very, very positive.”

(on Hopkins’ production at Clemson) “Especially last year, his route content was very large. Like you said, he was productive, but he got better every year; he got more and more catches. Obviously last year was his best year. 18 touchdowns is quite a few for one season. The thing, to us, that stuck out in our minds watching him and the more you watched him was he is very competitive. He’ll catch the ball in a crowd, it doesn’t matter to him. He can go up and get the ball. He competes and wears the DBs out. He’s physical and that’s what translates and that’s what we believe that we carry week-to-week; that’s what we ask our guys to do, to compete. He really fits that mold for us.”

(on his excitement level that Hopkins was still on the board) “I was just holding my breath. As we went through it, he was the guy that I really liked amongst the wide receivers crew. It’s a good group and he was the one that I would prefer that we had. I was holding my breath at the end and when we had our option, it was a great to have him there.”

(on his expectations for his rookie year) “He fit in with the group and like you said, we know he’ll compete. He’ll go out there with the rest of our guys and compete and get his chance to take his snaps and get his balls. He beat man coverage just by being physical. He has great length and great ball skills. He plays fast, has explosion in his routes. I think he’ll do a great job for us.”

(on Hopkins being productive every single year at Clemson) “That’s the thing, every year he got more and more production, caught more balls and it didn’t look like anything was too big for him. I’ll say it that way, whatever he’s asked to. When you look at his bowl game performance, when the stage got bigger, he just kept playing bigger and bigger.”

(on if there is any NFL player that Hopkins best compares to) “I hate to compare them all. There are quite a few. I had a guy that was texting me Roddy White from Atlanta, thought he played a lot like him. To me, he goes out there and ‘I want the ball’ and he’s going to catch the ball when it gets in his zip code. That’s the thing that I like about him.”

(on if the liked Hopkins’ speed) “He’s fast enough to win. If it’s a contested ball, we feel like he’s going to come down with it. His length is great, long arms. He can be covered and still catch the ball.”

(on if they like Hopkins’ blocking ability and if they will expect to use him to block too) “We try to build them all like that. Most of our guys or all of our guys are built in that manner because that’s what we believe. He’ll play without the ball too. He’ll go out and block and he’ll do what he’s supposed to all snaps, not just when the ball is coming his way.”

(on if he was excited to draft an offensive player in the first round after drafting a defensive player first in each draft since he’s been the coordinator) “Yes, see I didn’t even think you guys were up here. No, we’re just trying to get a better team, whatever it is. It’s obviously nice for us to have that pick just because of that guy. Whatever the team needs and that’s what we’re going through. We go through the same process every year. We work through everybody that’s available and fortunately for us, we had a chance to pick him.”

(on Hopkins’ physicality and blocking abilities) “He’s a big man. Obviously you guys know that he played basketball early on at Clemson which is a pretty good feat also. He’s gained some weight and so now he’s at 214. When DBs went up to press him, whether it be run or pass, they had a problem. That’s what I saw. They were getting thrown around and he did a really nice job. You can see his strength on film.”

(on Andre Johnson telling the media that he wanted the team to draft a wide receiver and if he said anything to him) “No, he didn’t say anything to me. He didn’t have to. We’re just trying to get better as a team. When Dre talks, in general he doesn’t talk very much.”

(on if there was any consideration of trading the pick) “There was some debate back and forth. I was ready to take him. I’ll just say it that way. When it came to our turn and he was ready, I voted to take him. There is always play back and forth.”

(on how strong was the back and forth to pick Hopkins) “For me, it was take the pick. Everybody has their own opinion if we slip. To me, when we went into this thing, in my viewpoint, this was the wide receiver, the best one that gets us better as an offense. I was ready to take that pick.”

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