ARIZONA CARDINALS

DeAndre Hopkins’ training habits can help him adapt to Cardinals offense

Apr 18, 2020, 6:55 AM | Updated: 4:12 pm

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans runs after a reception against the Tennessee Titans durin...

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans runs after a reception against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

In DeAndre Hopkins’ NFL career, he has only missed two games. Both were for rest purposes in the final week of a season.

“I take a lot of pride in being durable,” Hopkins said.

“… There have been many games that I could have sat out, knowing my body and knowing what I was going through. But I feel like if I’m out there playing, no matter if it’s 100 or 50%, that guys are going to see that there’s somebody out there that’s tough that’s going to fight with them.”

Not only has he played virtually every game, Hopkins has played more than 90% of offensive snaps every year except his rookie season. That year, he was on the field for a mere 89% of them.

This comes down to his conditioning and workouts, he said. That habit is something that’s going to be useful as he joins the Arizona Cardinals and has to learn A) a new offense B) a new offense with the speed and pace of head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s schemes, and C) all that while having to stay away from the team due to coronavirus precautions.

Even with the quarantine, Hopkins said he doesn’t have to alter his offseason training much.

“My regimen is pretty much the same, adding a little things in there because I’m not sure when we can go back,” he said. “I work smart and hard.”

He’s not changing trainers after his move from the Houston Texans to Arizona. Hopkins said the trainer, who he hired last year, was helpful in overcoming injuries.

Last season, the Cardinals took 25.71 seconds per play and the Texans took 27.72 seconds per play, according to Football Outsiders.

That two-second different sounds small, but it’s the difference between the fourth-fastest in the NFL and the 15th-fastest.

“I know I’m in a fast-paced, no-huddle offense so obviously I have to make sure my endurance is where it needs to be once we get back started,” Hopkins said. “I’m pretty sure i’ll be doing a lot of up-tempo and fast-paced things in the offseason to help that.”

Last season, the Cardinals used four wide receivers 18% of the time, by far the most in the league. The Seattle Seahawks ran these sets 10% of the time; no other team did more than 4% of their offensive snaps, according to Sharp Football Stats.

The Cardinals did this with Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk as the top two receivers and unproven players like Damiere Byrd, Pharoh Cooper and KeeSean Johnson as the Nos. 3 and 4.

With Hopkins in the mix, it’s likely they’ll run it even more.

So while Hopkins may have two reliable receivers next to him, his snap count likely won’t decrease from the 91% last season.

From the sound of it, he’s ready.

“Obviously for a guy to play that many games, you can say what you want but he’s doing something right to be able to be durable and play every down,” Hopkins said.

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DeAndre Hopkins’ training habits can help him adapt to Cardinals offense