Welcome to Arizona, DeAndre Hopkins.
On a smokey Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara the player many around the NFL believe to be the most talented wide receiver in the game simply couldn’t be stopped, even by the defending NFC Champions.
“He’s a high volume player, that’s who he was in Houston,” The MMQB Senior NFL Reporter Albert Breer said in a phone interview Monday morning with Sport360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat after Hopkins reeled in a career-high 14 receptions for 151 yards. “I think if you look at his catch numbers and targets in Houston, I think that’s how you involve him.”
Hopkins’ involvement helped the Cards send a loud and distinctive message to the rest of the loaded NFC West.
“From the moment I walked in here, I felt something special about this team.”#VictoryLap x @DeAndreHopkins pic.twitter.com/nYWmXDkBVn
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 14, 2020
Breer did notice one distinct difference from the 2019 version we saw with the Texans.
“I think one of the things that stuck out to me watching him was, he looked faster,” he said. “He looked faster than he did in Houston. He’s never going to be a burner and he’s never going to be a Tyreek Hill sort of player but to see at the end of the game on the catch and run, he was almost able to get in the end zone. That got my attention.”
This what y’all wanted to see?
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) September 13, 2020
After the game, Hopkins was asked if his splashy Arizona debut ever caught him by surprise a bit.
“Was I surprised about having a career high in catches?,” he noted. “No, I wasn’t. I sacrifice and I put in a lot of work every day. From what I eat, to how I take care of my body, to my preparation. I’m going to go out and when my number’s called, I’m going to catch the ball.”
Breer believes the best could be yet to come in the desert.
“I think you saw on Sunday…not only are you getting the player you had in Houston but you’re probably getting a motivated version of that guy, too.”
Hopkins and the Cards will look to stay perfect when they host Washington in their home opener Sunday at 1:05 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.