DeAndre Hopkins may have changed physically, the Pro Bowl receiver put on some weight this offseason in the form of muscle, but his leadership mentality has not.
"Last year I kind of had the same role even though we had Nate Washington in the room, a guy who's been in the league longer than a lot of us times two, but still the mentality that I have is to be a leader on and off the field no matter who's in there, a vet or a rookie," Hopkins said Monday. "I don't think balancing is a problem. I'm going to go out there and do my job no matter what and lead by example."
This week, veterans and rookies took the field together for the first of ten OTA practices. Among those rookies were Will Fuller and Braxton Miller, drafted in the first and third rounds, added to help give Hopkins help in warding off double teams.
Now with a new quarterback and revamped offense, the fourth-year receiver has been the Texans longest tenured player at the position and the second-most experienced receiver behind Cecil Shorts III, who is entering his sixth NFL season and second with Houston.
"Came out, some things we've got to work on, some things we did good," Hopkins said. "First day out, so you know it's not going to be the best. You're not going to get our best showing today, but we did good. I would say Brock (Osweiler) led us, the receivers paid attention, all of us were helping each other out there. Some guys first time playing pro football, so just getting used to the tempo that we work at and I think we did good."
The Texans OTA practices continue through Friday, June 10 at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
See photos from Monday's Texans OTA workout.