July 24, 2017
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Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins praised both quarterbacks Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson on Wednesday, but said Savage has "earned" the starting role. USA TODAY Sports/ Troy Taormina

Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins Praises Tom Savage, Deshaun Watson

Houston Texans Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins has high praise for quarterbacks Tom Savage and rookie Deshaun Watson, but believes Houston’s veteran quarterback has earned the team’s starting role this offseason.

“I like his leadership,” Hopkins said of Savage, via Pro Football Talk. “From last year when he wasn’t playing on the field he was still showing the guys, telling us what we should do, helping us out like he was the starting quarterback. Now that he’s in that role it’s not surprise to anybody on this field that he deserves that role.

“He has earned it, not just from playing but from the chemistry he has built in the locker room with everybody.”

The Texans 27-year-old quarterback is entering his fourth season but has made just two starts (1-1) in his first three years in Houston. Savage has completed 56 of 92 passes for 588 yards and has yet to throw a regular season touchdown.

Houston’s front office traded their 2018 first-round pick to land Clemson’s national champion quarterback, but that doesn’t mean the franchise plans to rush him on the field in his rookie season.

Watson has already impressed his new head coach Bill O’Brien with his work ethic in OTAs and is also turning the head of Houston’s star wide receiver.

“He’s far from where I was as a rookie, mentally-wise,” Hopkins said. “At the quarterback position – that’s probably the hardest position to learn on the football team. He has picked it up well. He’s been doing a lot of things, not just on the field but off the field as well. You’ll see him in there in his notebook. As soon as he gets in there he’s on his iPad looking at plays, trying to get better, trying to make his mistakes right. You can’t do that on the football field. You have to do that by off the field.

“Mentally, he has it. . . . It means a lot. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Everybody sees it. Everybody sees what he’s doing outside of the football field, putting in his own time to make himself better and this team.”

The Texans officially wrapped up their mandatory minicamp Wednesday with O’Brien canceling Thursday’s practice.

“Yeah, we’re going to shut it down,” O’Brien, via the Texans’ team website. “We’ve had a great nine weeks. These guys have worked really hard. We have the linemen in there right now lifting and conditioning, doing things in there, and then we’ll cancel tomorrow. We’ll have a meeting here and we’ll cut everybody loose here at the end of the day. But these guys have done an unbelievable job for us. We’ve had great attendance and great work ethic and it’s time to – like I always say, the keys are in the ignition, the engine’s started, it’s time to go on summer break.”

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