Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Gannon taking the right approach regarding Hopkins
By Sion Fawkes
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon is taking the correct approach regarding star receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ status.
While Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort continues to look to keep the price for Hopkins at a premium, as he should, head coach Jonathan Gannon continues to act as though Hopkins will be suiting up for the Red Birds in Week 1. Of course, trading Hopkins would be ideal for a team looking to rebuild, but until word becomes official that he’s leaving town, you need to act like he will still be here come September and that he will help the team.
Here is what Jonathan Gannon had to say regarding Hopkins:
""I'm operating that he's a Cardinal right now. So, I'm looking forward to getting in the meeting room and on the field with him and seeing where it can go. I just know he's an elite player. Being a defensive guy, I had to go up against him a couple times in the division. The challenges that he presents. I'm excited to get to work with him.""- Jonathan Gannon, via NFL.com.
Clearly, Gannon also knows Hopkins’ value, and he’s familiar with the receiver, whose productivity is still one of the league’s best on a per game basis. When Gannon was coaching cornerbacks between 2018-2020, he had to get his group ready to face the former All-Pro twice a year, and since a few of those Texans teams were rather successful, it's safe to say it was quite the task to cover Hopkins.
Arizona Cardinals coach taking right approach with Hopkins
Of course, Hopkins is an older player, but at 30, he remains firmly entrenched in his prime. Last season, he missed the first six contests thanks to a PED suspension. But when he returned and played nine of the final 10 games, we saw vintage DeAndre Hopkins, who caught 64 passes, amassed 717 receiving yards, and tacked on three touchdowns.
If Hopkins stays in the desert, the Cardinals could have a dynamic passing attack. And even if Hopkins’ play dropped off this season because of age, and it’s a big ‘if,’ Arizona still has Marquise Brown, Greg Dortch, Trey McBride, Zach Ertz, Zach Pascal, and if he stays healthy, Rondale Moore, to pick up the slack.
But don’t count on Hopkins missing a beat. If he goes elsewhere via trade, Arizona will and should get a solid return. If he stays with the Redbirds, the Cards could have a dynamic pass-catching unit, even if a backup quarterback starts off the season.
Overall, it seems as though Gannon would be glad to keep Hopkins around. And why wouldn’t he? Even an aging DeAndre Hopkins is better than most NFL receivers.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
Source: HC Jonathan Gannon on DeAndre Hopkins trade rumors: 'I'm operating that he's a Cardinal' by Bobby Kownack, NFL.com