JAGS WR DEAVER Hopkins says he “knows” his defense is making him a better football player.
“My coaches have always been tough, and I know they know how to be tough,” Hopkins said Wednesday during his post-game press conference.
“And that’s just something that I learned growing up, just how to work hard, work on my fundamentals, how to stay in shape and work with my body.”
This was not the first time Hopkins had spoken about his physicality.
He has had an array of off-field issues throughout his career.
When asked if he felt he was “being honest,” Hopkins responded, “Absolutely.”
Hopkins was asked if his “tough” defense had helped him make it to the NFL, and he replied, “I’m not sure how much that helps you but I know I can handle myself better.”
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder has had some issues this offseason.
Hopkins has been accused of making an obscene gesture during an NFL pregame warm-up, and another incident happened during his first season with the Jaguars in 2016 when he was allegedly involved in a fight.
The NFL has suspended him for two games.
He was also suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season.
In 2017, the Jaguars waived him, which caused him to miss the first six games of his rookie season.
He also did not make the Jaguars’ 53-man roster in 2018.
The Jaguars drafted Hopkins in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft and he was the Jaguars second-leading receiver in 2017.
After two seasons in Jacksonville, Hopkins had to sit out the first half of 2018 with a shoulder injury.
Hopkins missed the entire 2018 season due to injury, and was released by the Jaguars a week before the start of the 2019 season.
During his time in Jacksonville Hopkins has played in 16 games, including the Jaguars final eight games of 2018.
Hopkins is a five-time Pro Bowler, and his career totals are 11, 554 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He had nine touchdown receptions in 2016.
This season, Hopkins is averaging more than 14 yards per reception.
Injuries have plagued Hopkins throughout his NFL career.
He missed the Jaguars season opener against the Broncos due to a concussion.
He sat out the 2016 playoffs due to injuries.
He played in only eight games in 2017 and has one catch for 14 yards.
He returned in 2018, but missed the first two games of that season due a knee injury.
He came back in 2019, but did not record a catch.
He will be eligible to return to the Jaguars roster on March 13.
Hopkins and the Jaguars have the third-worst record in the league.
He is one of only four players in the NFL who have recorded double-digit catches in each of the last two seasons.
The last player to do it was Michael Crabtree in 2012.