Hopkins twice replied "no comment" to overtures about Johnson's absence as the team opened up offseason workouts Monday. Hopkins made it clear he'd rather take the high road than get into headline-making quotes regarding his former mentor.
Entering his third season, the wideout was more concerned with his own role as the leader of the Texans' receiver group.
"It feels great," he said, per a team transcript. "My motto is I'm going to go out and work every day no matter who is here. It's a mentality that I always play with since I've been playing football."
Hopkins, 22, said he plans to play with a "chip" on his shoulder and added that he's embracing that role of leader, even if some might believe he's too young for the gig.
"When they came in here, I told those guys, 'anything you need to know, just about the stadium or where to eat and any little thing,'" he said. "I told those guys they could come to me. Coaches are going to help them transition into this offense, but a lot of wide receivers in there look up to me because we don't have 80 (Andre Johnson) here anymore. I like that chip on my shoulder."