His first September as a professional football player was incredibly frutiful, but DeAndre Hopkins has the bar set a lot higher. The rookie wide receiver was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month on Thursday, but he's more interested in other things. "It's great, but I'm here to win football games," Hopkins said. "The personal accolades really don't mean that too much to me."
The first-rounder out of Clemson leads all rookies in receiving yards (270) and is tied for the most receptions (20). His lone touchdown was a game-winner that came in overtime during the
Week 2 matchup with Tennessee. And none of his success has been a surprise.
"I practice to be a great player," Hopkins said. "So that's what I expect when I go out on the field."
Hopkins has combined with Andre Johnson for 638 receiving yards through the first quarter of the season. Veteran safety Ed Reed is a fan of the rookie and believes Hopkins' growing confidence will serve him, and the Texans, well on the field.
"That's good for our offense that he's growing," Reed said. "You're not going to be able to just concentrate on Andre. DeAndre's a threat to be reckoned with and coming along."
Head coach Gary Kubiak was happy for Hopkins, but is excited even more so about the young player's future, because "he can get so much better just from a knowledge standpoint, scheme-wise, knowing what he's doing consistently."
"I've got a lot of room for improvement," Hopkins said. "I'm not close to where I want to be at all. I agree with him on that."
Practice, like Hopkins mentioned, is a key ingredient to his success. And it's also what Kubiak likes most about the rookie.
"The thing I'm really impressed is how hard he practices," Kubiak said. "How hard he works at what he does, really likes to play."