Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins soaking in knowledge as season approaches
Arizona Cardinals DeAndre Hopkins entered the team’s training camp with an already impressive NFL resume.
Sporting four Pro Bowl appearances, three First Team All-Pro selections and five seasons of more than 1,000 receiving yards, there’s not much, if anything, more for Hopkins to learn, right?
Not so fast.
Hopkins is obviously a master at his craft, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to grow for the seven-year vet. A receiver of his pedigree doesn’t get where he’s by being complacent — especially when the voice you’re now listening to on a daily basis is a receivers coach highly regarded by head coach Kliff Kingsbury and Co.
“Me coming in coming off of three First Team All-Pros, I think I’ve learned more with [wide receivers] Coach [David] Raih than I ever have playing receiver, and that’s saying a lot,” Hopkins said during the team’s latest Flight Plan episode on Saturday.
“I’ve had some good coaches in the past but coach Raih is very detailed. [offensive assistant Jerry Sullivan] and him its a great duo but I take it as a challenge. I think this offense is obviously a great offense to be in, especially as a skill player so if you embrace it and take it day by day you know it’s going to work out.”
It also helps that Hopkins is a receptive learner.
“First of all, Hop is a good soul. He’s a very engaging person and so coaching him, he really listens to what you’re telling him,” Raih said.
Hopkins understands he needs to be all ears as he adjusts to his first new team since being drafted in 2013 by the Houston Texans — moreso now than ever with the coronavirus pandemic hindering the NFL offseason and leaving new additions like Hopkins scrambling to lock down the offense with the season less than a week away.
There’s a new offense to nail down, new coaches to get accustomed to and bonds with teammates that need to be built in any trade. For Hopkins, it’s the little things that help breed success and camaraderie.
“That’s obviously a fast pace offense so you have to learn on the fly,” Hopkins said. “For me, [that’s] studying at home, doing extra things outside of practice but being on the same page with Kyler also. Not just communicating with him on the football field field, but off the football field in the locker room.
“Extra communication I think is key especially without having a [regular] offseason. I think working out in the weight room together, walking down the hallway, eating lunch to me that’s building chemistry. Not just there throwing the football back and forth because [we’ve] been doing that since we were young. That’s going to come.”