DeAndre Hopkins has assumed his role as a leader, reaching out to players new to the team and the city of Houston.
"When they came in here, I told those guys, 'anything you need to know, just about the stadium or where to eat and any little thing,' I told those guys they could come to me," Hopkins said Monday. "Coaches are going to help them transition into this offense, but a lot of wide receivers in there look up to me because we don't have 80 (Andre Johnson) here anymore. I like that chip on my shoulder."
This offseason, the Texans lost 12-year veteran Andre Johnson and signed free agent wide receivers Cecil Shorts III and Nate Washington. The team also re-signed restricted free agent Damaris Johnson. Hopkins, now entering his third NFL season, hopes to also improve his own game. He feels the Texans offense under Bill O'Brien is a complicated one that challenges even the best of players.
"This offense is always mind-boggling and always throwing a lot of things at you," Hopkins said. "Becoming more of a student of the game is something I want to work on. Learning coverages of defenses and trying to be the best receiver I can be out there."
In 2014, Hopkins led all second-year players with 2,012 yards receiving and was second with 128 receptions for his career. He also became the second-youngest player in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards receiving (22 years, 198 days), behind Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald (22 years, 109 days).