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DeAndre Hopkins says Tom Savage should be Texans' QB
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Nothing against rookie first-rounder DeShaun Watson, but when it comes to the Houston Texans' quarterback competition, the team's top wide receiver is Team Tom Savage.

"If anybody should be a judge of quarterbacks, I've played with the most quarterbacks in NFL history throughout my first four years," DeAndre Hopkinssaid after practice here Friday. "So I put the stamp on Savage, and I think that's all that needs to be said about that."

It's certainly not all that WILL be said about before this camp ends. And there remains a chance Watson wins the job by the end of camp or at least during the season. But here at the Greenbrier, where the Texans practice, there's a clear depth chart delineation right now. Savage has taken all of the first-team reps so far in camp and Watson has worked exclusively with the second team.

In three starts for the Texans last year, Tom Savage targeted DeAndre Hopkins with 30 percent of his passes. Mickey Bernal/Icon Sportswire
Savage is the incumbent, having spent three years with the Texans and started two games for them last season due to the struggles of Brock Osweiler. Watson may be the more exciting prospect, and the national college champion for whom the Texans moved up in the first round this April. But Hopkins is a believer that the Texans can win with the guy who was already here.

"I've played with at least 10 quarterbacks," Hopkins said. "So because of what he does well, and what he can do for this team, I know he can help us win what we want to win. He does everything well. He's a student of the game, from just being on the bench, watching and learning from other people's mistakes, seeing what they've done wrong. He can put the ball in any place. He has a strong arm. He has a knowledge of this offense. He's been in this offense his whole career."

The brief Osweiler era in Houston didn't go well, and Hopkins seemed to struggle to find a connection with 2016's big free-agent signing. After a 2015 season in which he became the first receiver in NFL history to record 100-yard games with four different quarterbacks, Hopkins had only two such games last year with Osweiler. His reception total dropped from 111 in 2015 to 78 last year, his yardage total from 1,521 to 954 and his touchdown catches from 11 to four. Yet he declined to call it a frustrating year.

"No, I wouldn't say I was frustrated," Hopkins said. "We were winning. We didn't win the ultimate goal, but we gave the Patriots one of their closest games of the whole season and biggest challenges that they had. So I would be selfish on my part to say I was frustrated with my team going to the second round of the playoffs and almost beating the Patriots."

Hopkins seems to be in a pretty good place right now, which may explain why he's here in camp at all. He held out one day of training camp last year in protest of a contract that still hasn't been extended and now still has only one year left on it. But this year, even as holdouts seem to be making a comeback league-wide, he's been in camp from the start in spite of the lack of a new deal.
"Because I know I have a great team," Hopkins said when asked why. "My teammates, those guys count on me to come out here and make this team better. Guys like Lamar Miller, like J.J. Watt that want to win a championship. And I know, for them to be able to do that, I have to be able to come out here and help those guys do it. So you know, the other 52 players on the team, they depend on me. That's why I'm here."

Hopkins could find himself next March at the top of a free-agent wide receiver class that includes himself, Buffalo's Sammy Watkins, Miami's Jarvis Landry, Jacksonville's Allen Robinson, Philadelphia's Alshon Jeffery and Washington's Terrelle Pryor, among others. But he says he hasn't thought about his place in such a market.

"I'm sure those guys are going to get a chance to be able to make a living for themselves successfully when they do hit free agency," Hopkins said. "Those guys earned it. Some of those guys haven't been on a winning team, and they're competitors. I know those wide receivers, they just want to win."

Hopkins' point was that, unlike some of those other players, he HAS been on a winning team. And while he'd love a new contract, he ultimately would like it to be with Houston.
"I've come this far," Hopkins said. "I've been a No. 1 receiver for only two years why whole football career. At Clemson, I was a No. 2 receiver. Just a couple of years ago, I was a No. 1 receiver. So you know, who I am and what people think of me? I'm not a selfish player, but I know what I'm worth, to put it in that aspect.

"I'm pretty sure there's a lot of teams in the NFL that would love to have me, but the Houston Texans is my home and the team that I want to play for forever."
I think DW4 can earn D-Hops endorsement as they go through training camp and the preseason. We all know the Texans didn't move up to get him for him to ride the pines very long. I think it will only serve DW4 to work even harder to learn the playbook and to prove his worth in practice.

He will make DeAndre a believer before long. I think this will be good for DW4 in the long run, he can watch and learn and better prepare himself for when the call does come.
I would expect nothing less from a pro like Nuk to go with the vet. DW4 may be family but he is still a rook.
[-] The following 1 user Likes reynolds's post:
  • HughRichardCranium
Nuk believes in DW4...without reservation. Still, it serves neither him, nor Watson, any good purpose to have any position other than what he's taken. In some respects, it removes a bit of pressure from Watson and, most of all, separates the Tiger connection in a venue where it's no longer relevant.
Uncle Salty     "...while beggars can't be choosers, choosers rarely have to be beggars."
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  • Bugmantom
If Watson is the Texans' 2nd best QB, then i need to fly to Vegas.
He looked great tonight IMO. He had a couple overthrows, but he seemed very comfortable out there and made good decisions.

I hope he is cautious about when he decides to make a run like that. I think the DB at the goal line would have lit him up had it not been preseason. But he made some nice passes and no costly mistakes

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