The 49ers and Texans conducted a joint practice on Friday, in advance of Sunday night’s preseason game between the two teams. If Sunday goes anything like Friday, Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins may have his way with the San Fran defense.
“That’s Hop,” quarterback Brock Osweiler told reporters regarding the 49ers’ struggles to cover the fourth-year receiver. “Hop’s going to come out and no matter who’s lined up across from him or for that matter if no one’s lined up across from him. He’s going to come out here and compete, work his tail off and he’s really going to try to make as many plays as he possibly can, and that’s why you love him. He has a burning fire inside of him and he wants to be great but he works to be great every single day.”
Hopkins may have gotten an advantage from spending training camp practicing in extreme Texas heat before heading to cooler and less humid Northern California.
“I don’t think I even sweated today,” Hopkins said. “I could tell by how our guys are out here running around, it’s different. We train in some of the hottest weather in America, so when we come out here it’s like a vacation.”
The Texans apparently took a vacation from the kind of brawling that marred last year’s joint practices with Washington, but it sounds like a certain amount of chatter is inherent to these sessions, from Hopkins’ perspective.
“This is football,” Hopkins said. “This isn’t ballerina [sic]. There’s always going to be some trash talking and junk talking going on in the game of football.”
The real question on Sunday night may be whether the San Francisco defensive backs can stay close enough to Hopkins so that he can hear the trash talk.