Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins defended his practice habits in one of the most poignant rants about practicing since Allen Iverson's famous rant about practicing in 2002. Hopkins, who was shockingly traded from the Houston Texans to the Cardinals this past offseason, has missed 18 out of 41 practices this season.
Hopkins hasn't been a regular at Cardinals' practices but he has been a dominant force on the field for his new team. Hopkins, the 2017 NFL receiving touchdowns leader, currently leads the NFL in receiving yards and he was named to his fifth Pro Bowl.
"Yeah, man, I've heard a lot of a lot of negativity about me not practicing when I first came to Arizona," Hopkins said, as revealed on ESPN. "I don't watch the Arizona local news and channels and the sports station, but my grandfather, he's an avid listener to everything and every single one.
I think, if one of you guys say something bad about me, my grandfather, he's told me. So, I've seen all the blogs and all this stuff, I'm pretty sure some of you guys might have been in there egging it on, but I'm not gonna say any names."
Hopkins rips his critics
Hopkins has been one of the best wide receivers since coming to the NFL in 2013. "But, there's a reason that I play football and they watch. And there's a reason that people are in positions for a reason.
So, I really didn't listen to it. I don't listen to it. I listen to my grandfather, and he was saying, 'Man, Arizona, they really kind of on you right now because you're not practicing and all the critics in the sports people,' but, my grandfather knows who I am, also, and he knows how productive I am on that football field.
And he knew what I was going through, and the people who are giving me stuff, they don't know what I was going through or dealing with, and I don't let my news, or really what's going on with me, be publicized for the future."
Hopkins also offered to be a guest on local sports shows but noted that those shows would have to pay him for an appearance. "And tell those people who say I don't practice," Hopkins said, "to come watch me play the game." The Cardinals, who stand at 8-6, play the San Francisco 49ers this Saturday.