When it comes to DeAndre Hopkins, whether or not he ended up with the Tennessee Titans was always going to come down to how much money they were willing to give him.
Having said that, he certainly sounded like someone that thought long and hard about what this Titans team was before joining them.
The All-Pro receiver had his introductory press conference with the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday, and it is one of the few introductory press conferences that I encourage everyone to go watch.
Typically these things are almost a call and response with reporters asking if this team can win a Super Bowl and the new free agent blowing smoke about how this is the greatest team ever assembled.
The key difference between those press conferences and this one, is in the specifics.
Nuk knows who the Tennessee Titans really are
For example, when Hopkins was asked about why he joined the team he gave the generic answer of being a few pieces away from the playoffs, but that wasn't the end of his answer.
He went on to specifically mention watching the Titans' Week 18 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars for the division title, and how the Tennessee Titans were one play away from making it despite dozens of injuries and having Josh Dobbs at quarterback.
When gave the team line about the importance of the running game and how that improves the passing game, but unlike most receivers he seemed to truly believe it.
He specifically mentioned Derrick Henry, and he brought up the fact that the two were actually friends and that Henry was a big part of why Hopkins joined the Tennessee Titans. We know this is true because there have been videos in the offseason of the two working out together, which is pretty rare when you think about how many solo training videos Henry posts.
In another instance, he was asked about Mike Vrabel and his relationship with the coach. Again, he summarized their time together in Houston, but then he got very specific talking about a conversation that they had after a game where Vrabel was giving him a hard time about not catching a pass he should have caught. While it wasn't specifically mentioned, it certainly sounded like that was a conversation that happened recently when he was with the Arizona Cardinals which just points to the longevity of that relationship.
He also spent time complimenting Ryan Tannehill and talking about the instant connection they made, praising Tim Kelly's rise as an offensive mind, talking about his role as a leader in the WR room like Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson before him, and clearing up some misconceptions about his practice habits. All of those topics were filled with detailed specifics that made them feel more than just scripted answers.
Hopkins was never going to sign with the Tennessee Titans for the veteran minimum, but he isn't just in Nashville to cash a check either. He seems to understand exactly where this franchise is and what they need from him, and he is ready to embrace that role.