Senior Bowl practice is an opportunity for NFL scouts and teams to learn about players. It's also a chance to catch up with draft-eligible players to find out what they think of NFL teams. Several quarterbacks talked about their impressions of the Texans and the city of Houston.
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, is "not at all" surprised by what the Texans 2013 first-round pick has accomplished. In his rookie season, Hopkins averaged 15.4 yards per catch, recorded 802 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.
"Nuk (Hopkins) is a special kid, special player," Boyd said. "Everything that he has done at that level is what I expected him to do. Honestly, I think he needs to get the ball a little more, but that's up to the next quarterback. I'm just proud of him and the way he's handling himself, and I know he's going make a splash for the Texans."
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr knows first-hand of a starting quarterback's experience in the NFL. Carr learned two important life lessons from big brother David who spent five seasons as the Texans starter.
"He always taught me you're going to be praised and you're going to be criticized," Carr said. "Ignore both because neither matter. Just continue to work hard. And the other thing I learned from him is he never pointed a finger. He always let himself be the scapegoat and that says so much about his integrity. When I see people from Houston, they have so much respect for him because of that."
Eastern Illinois graduate Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been garnering much attention from NFL scouts in practice this week, has good memories from his past trip to Houston. The MVP of this year's East-West Shrine game seemed enthusiastic about the possibility of playing for the Texans despite the 2-14 record in 2013.
"It wasn't their best year but they were good in the past," Garoppolo said. "They have the defensive player of the year in J.J. Watt and they're a good organization. It would be an honor to go to Houston. It's a great city. I've been there once before. It's a very active town, similar to Chicago where I'm from. But it would be very cool to go down there and just turn it around from this last year."
Garoppolo also added that he would not mind playing alongside two-time All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson.
"Andre Johnson's a monster of his own," Garoppolo said. "It would be cool to throw to someone like that. When you throw a jump ball, you know he's gonna come down with it. It's a nice comfort blanket to have."