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Texans' Loss To Broncos Was Learning Experience For DB Derek Stingley Jr.

Sunday's head-to-head battle with wide receiver Courtland Sutton was a learning experience for Houston Texans rookie defensive back Derek Stingley Jr.

HOUSTON — Derek Stingley Jr. experienced his welcome to the NFL moment Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High stadium. Stingley spent the bulk of his snaps covering wide receiver Courtland Sutton, who finished the game with 122 yards and seven catches. 

Stingley did not have much to say about his performance amid the Texans' 16-9 defeat to the Denver Broncos, but coach Lovie Smith felt the Week 2 match was a part of the learning process for his rookie defensive back.

"I thought he competed well," Smith said. "When you’re a cornerback and you press, one-on-one situation is a lot. You’re going to win some of the battles. Some of them you aren’t going to play as well. It is how you respond. He competed hard. He tackled well."

Stingley finished the game with eight tackles and a pair of pass deflections. Stingley would have finished the game with two more deflections, but he was flagged for a pair of interference calls early in the first quarter.

Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, who finished the game with 219 yards and a touchdown, kept Stingley in the mix of the action by targeting Sutton 11 times. Stingley revealed that he had fun being tested early against the Broncos while feeling Wilson was "just doing his thing."

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"We did a few different things with him, and I think he went against a good wide receiver today," Smith said. "I thought he had this moment where he did some good things. 

"Part of the learning process is to go through some games that kind of challenge him and put him in a few more different positions. It will only get better from here."

In the first two games of his NFL career, Stingley has registered 15 tackles and three pass deflections. Two of Stingley's pass deflections prevented a touchdown against the Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

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