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."
Specifically, Hopkins wants to keep defenders on their toes against him. He wants to add a layer of unpredictability to his running, keeping defensive backs off-balance and unsure of where he will end up on his route.
Now entering his second year, Hopkins should be building on what he learned last season. 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."
Despite only experiencing two career NFL wins last year, the Texans 2013 first-round draft pick finished his rookie campaign averaging 15.4 yards per receptions for 802 yards and two touchdowns. He feels he learned how to prepare and practice at a high level earning high praise from O'Brien.
"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."