DeAndre Hopkins yet to reach his ‘peak,’ jacked about A.J. Green pairing

Aug 2, 2021, 6:58 PM
DeAndre Hopkins #10 and A.J. Green #18 of the Arizona Cardinals look on during passing drills at Tr...
DeAndre Hopkins #10 and A.J. Green #18 of the Arizona Cardinals look on during passing drills at Training Camp at State Farm Stadium on July 28, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

GLENDALE — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has lined up with some pretty big names over the course of his NFL career.

While he picked up a few things from the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson, Hopkins’ new teammate A.J. Green has the All-Pro chomping at the bit to get to the regular season.

“To be honest I probably haven’t played with anyone of his caliber also,” Hopkins said after training camp on Monday. “But you know I say that and Larry’s obviously a Hall of Famer, I got to play with him later in his career. Andre Johnson, got to play with him later in his career.

“The reason I say that is A.J. still has a lot in the tank. The other two Hall of Famers I played with I would say were at the end of their careers. Taught me a lot, but I feel A.J. is still in his prime.”

The tandem’s potential has been on display throughout training camp.

Despite Green’s rocky three seasons to close out his Cincinnati Bengals’ tenure, the wideout has shown his ability to line up in just about every spot and make a play.

And as for Hopkins, he’s picking up where he left off in 2020 as he enters his first real offseason and second year with quarterback Kyler Murray.

“For me, I think it will help me out a lot,” Hopkins said of Green. “You can’t just focus on me having someone like that that can win the 1-on-1 nine times out of 10. He’s shown what he can do so far in camp. Honestly I don’t think he’s missed a beat.

“I think he’s gotten better from when I seen him a couple years ago. … To me I think he’s in the peak of his career. It makes me better seeing him going out there and making catches and make plays. He makes me want to go out there. It’s like competing and I love it.”

Speaking of peak, that’s something Hopkins says he has yet to reach, citing quarterback woes from his Houston Texans days.

Playing with 12 different starting signal-callers during his seven-year stint in Houston, Hopkins was left to constantly adapt on the fly with the revolving door of passers.

The carousel did little to impact his game, however, as he still put up 1,000-yard seasons in all but two years he was a Texan.

Now with a full year and an actual offseason to improve, Hopkins believes the best is yet to come. But balling out doesn’t mean that much to the wideout if his team is on the outside looking in come payoffs.

“I don’t think I’ve reached my peak yet,” Hopkins said. “Obviously playing with multiple quarterbacks, not really having a quarterback that I spent one or three years consistently with like a lot of others guys you would say reached their nirvana, so for me, it’s building chemistry with my quarterback and having a couple offseason to build chemistry with.

“I can go out there and 1,400, 1,500 yards but it really doesn’t mean anything if the team’s losing. For me, reaching that nirvana is winning a championship. Statistically, people say a lot of teams don’t win with No. 1 receivers, it doesn’t take that. So I don’t want to be looked at as the guy that’s just a No. 1 receiver, I just want to be a consistent receiver.”

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