Texans quarterback carousel hasn't fazed DeAndre Hopkins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- DeAndre Hopkins strolled into the interview room with a Versace scarf draped over his tied-up dreadlocks.

The scarf was a Christmas present from his mother and a fashion statement that aligned with a flashy day from Hopkins. He caught seven passes for 117 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.

His fashion sense is loud, his play on the field makes noise, but Hopkins himself stays quiet about the unceasing Houston Texans' quarterback carousel.

"He doesn't come over hooping and hollering, going crazy and telling everybody to throw him the ball," Texans quarterback Brandon Weeden said. "He has patience. He understands it."

That patience has been tested. Sunday was the sixth 100-yard game of a season in which Hopkins has been selected to his first Pro Bowl. Perhaps most impressive is that Hopkins has caught passes from four different quarterbacks. Now in his third season, he has never had one quarterback for all 16 games. He hasn't expressed frustration, rather insisting the opposite. It's a credit to Hopkins that he has simply worked with what he's had.

"It's definitely not frustrating at all," Hopkins said. "I find it as a challenge and a test. That's the kind of player I am. I love challenges thrown my way. That's how I've been my whole life. I think the guys that they brought in have been very high football IQ guys. ... They got me in the Pro Bowl, so it's definitely not frustrating at all."

During a practice last week, Hopkins made a catch that left everyone speechless.

That's hard to do these days.

"One-handed catch. Fade route. Just an amazing catch," left tackle Duane Brown said. "We’ve all become accustomed to seeing him make those kinds of catches, but it was just amazing. In the end zone. Got two feet in. It was great coverage, Kevin Johnson was covering him. Heck of a play."

That ability is why no matter which quarterback is playing for the Texans, he loves throwing to Hopkins.

"I think it says something about him and the quarterbacks he's played with that they've all adapted to him," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "They've been able to come in here and know that he's one of our better players. ... He talks to them, they communicate all of the time, they put in extra time watching practice film, watching game film, to make sure they are on the same page."

This season it has been Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Weeden. Quickly, Weeden learned developing chemistry with Hopkins wouldn't be difficult.

Weeden has completed 66.7 percent of his throws to Hopkins, the best completion percentage of any of the Texans' four quarterbacks to have thrown to Hopkins this season. Hoyer ranks second, Mallett ranks third and Yates ranks fourth.

The Texans claimed Weeden off waivers on Nov. 18. He hasn't had many reps overall, and he has hesitated to ask Hopkins for extra work after practices.

"It's Week 16 and he's run a lot," Weeden said. "I'd rather have him have fresh legs. ... He's a playmaker. If I throw it to him one-on-one, his chances are pretty good. I don't want to wear him out, even though I may need it a lot more than he does."

Repeatedly, Weeden lofted passes that were perfect for Hopkins on Sunday. He led him just a touch on what became a 44-yard completion.

Hopkins was one-on-one in the end zone when Weeden threw it to him in the third quarter. Titans defensive back Coty Sensabaugh, managed to disrupt that play enough to force an incomplete pass. But still, Weeden went right back to Hopkins on the very next play. That time Hopkins came down with a contested catch he had to leap to get.

"The quarterback trusted me," Hopkins said. "Gave me a chance to make a play one-on-one in coverage. What else can I ask for?"

In that situation, nothing. In the bigger picture, plenty. He can ask for some semblance of continuity at the position that gets him the ball, but he isn't doing it. That isn't his style.

Instead, Hopkins is just making it work.