“He had a real good rookie year, especially for not being here for OTAs,” tight ends coach Wade Harman said. “He had to catch up starting at training camp. It was a long year with us asking him to do all of that stuff. We put a lot on him and he did a really good job.”
Hooper is confident that he’s ready for the role.
“I’m comfortable,” Hooper said. “Playing in big games and in big situations, that was something that I was asked to do my rookie year. Now, that I’m even more comfortable in the system and more comfortable being an NFL player. I feel confident that I can be competent out there with the starting spot.”
Hooper has been battling in practice against strongside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.
“Dre is a talented player,” Hooper said. “Really athletic and long. He can flip his hips really well. It’s a real challenge for me. There are not a lot of linebackers that are as athletic as he is. I get a good look every day.”