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Kurt Warner on how DeAndre Hopkins helps Kyler Murray, Cardinals offense

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans walks on the field before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium on November 21, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

You do not need a Hall of Fame quarterback to explain to you why the Arizona Cardinals agreeing to acquire DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans is going to make life easier for second-year quarterback Kyler Murray.

But Kurt Warner can relate to what elite wide receivers can do for a quarterback, from his time in St. Louis throwing to Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt to having Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin in Arizona.

Warner looks at it specifically through the lens of what Hopkins changes for a more inexperienced, young NFL quarterback like Murray.

“Having a No. 1, having a difference-maker — and for me, with a young quarterback and really for any quarterback — having a guy where you say to yourself, ‘There is no bad matchup for DeAndre Hopkins,'” he said on Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Monday. “There’s not a guy out there that you say to yourself, ‘Well, if that guy’s guarding him we don’t have the advantage.’

“And so that’s where it starts is that for any quarterback you want to make the game as easy as possible, and the best way to make it easy for a quarterback is to go, ‘Oh, DeAndre Hopkins is one-on-one? Forget about everything else! Throw it to that guy!’

“You can simplify the game for a young quarterback.”

The extension of that for Warner is the freedom it grants Murray throwing to a target like Hopkins.

“The second piece of that puzzle is he’s a guy that is great at contended balls,” he said.

“So I always used to make this argument with guys like Anquan and Larry when I was here was, I coupled that with my accuracy and I said, ‘I can throw the ball where I want to throw the ball.’

“So now, these guys are so big and so good at contested balls that it’s not so much about are they open, as much as it is, if I put the ball where I know I can put it and nobody can get around them or nobody is better at getting contested balls or finding the football and catching in traffic than that guy, once again it decreases your margin of error on throws like that.

“Because you know most things that are going to happen with DeAndre Hopkins in a challenging situation are going to be positive for your offense.”

Last season, Hopkins caught 104 balls for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns. All told, he’s made 632 catches for 8,602 yards and 54 scores in 110 starts.


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