It's DeAndre Hopkins' time to shine.
With perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson sidelined due to a hamstring injury, the second-year receiver has taken the chance to impress coach Bill O'Brien with his improvement in the Texans' new system.
"He's one of the guys out there that I think is much improved from April 7, when we started, to where we are now," O'Brien said Saturday, per the Houston Chronicle. "He just has to keep it going. He's a very hard worker. It's very important to him. He's a guy that really, in our opinion, gets better and better everyday. So just got to keep it going."
Hopkins was wildly inconsistent during his rookie season. The 6-foot-1, 22-year-old admitted to struggling with the playbook last season, something he hinted earlier this offseason could be difficult again given the new offense.
O'Brien's early praise somewhat curtails that concern.
According to the Chronicle, Hopkins has been impressive during his early work, making several impressive catches. It is those types of dynamic plays that led Around The League's Chris Wesseling to pound the table for Hopkins to be added to our Making the Leap series this summer.
While the quarterback situation is cause for concern, if Hopkins makes the leap in Year 2, the Texans will sport one of the top receiving duos in the NFL.