Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz turned to a famous athlete from Philadelphia’s past in finding a comparison for Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
According to Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Schwartz cited former 76ers forward Charley Barkley and his ability to rebound as a comparison for Hopkins and his ability to catch a football seemingly no matter where it’s thrown.
“He has some rebounder-type skills in him,” Schwartz said of Hopkins. “Charles Barkley would lead the NBA in rebounds when he’s 6-3. Those guys that just have a knack for high point and a knack for knowing — but I think that sort of stands out the most.”
Barkley is actually 6-foot-6, but he was still undersized compared to the many 7-foot tall centers he had to battle for rebounds during his playing career. Barkley become a top 20 all-time rebounder in the NBA over his 16 years with the 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets.
Hopkins is arguably the best receiver in the NFL at the moment. He’s caught 94 passes for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns though 14 games this season for the Texans. He could still set career-highs in catches (111), yards (1,521) and touchdowns (13) over the final two weeks of the regular season.
The Eagles will have to attempt to slow him down with a severely depleted secondary. Schwartz coached Calvin Johnson with the Detroit Lions and knows there is only so much you can do to handle a player of Johnson’s or Hopkins’ caliber.
“What do you tell the guy, get taller? Hey, jump higher,” Schwartz said.