DeMeco Ryans: Reacts to Derek Stingley Jr. Shutting Down Amari Cooper in Texans Win

Houston Texans cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was a big part of the defense stifling the Cleveland Browns and receiver Amari Cooper. How did head coach DeMeco Ryans react?

 

 

The last time Cleveland Browns receiver Amari Cooper played at NRG Stadium, he had a franchise-record 265 receiving yards. His Browns comfortably beat the Houston Texans.

 

After missing two games with a heel contusion, he returned to action in Houston, this time with a trip to the Divisional Round on the line. He posted just four catches for 59 yards, heading home after a 45-14 loss.

 

No one deserves more credit for that development than Texans cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. The third overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Stingley has proven to be a difference-maker for Houston’s young defense.

 

Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper (2) steps out of bounds after a reception as Houston Texans cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (24) defends during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium.

 

 

 

Cooper dominated in Week 16, partly based on being able to move across the formation and away from the Texans’ best corner, who wasn’t traveling. Head coach DeMeco Ryans ensured Cooper wouldn’t burn them again.

 

Stingley was matched up against Cooper on 35 of his 42 routes (before Houston sat its starters), per Next Gen Stats. He allowed a single reception for -6 yards and was targeted just three times.

 

It was a premier performance from a player the Texans picked with the expectation of becoming a franchise cornerstone. He delivered. Ryans reacted to his performance after the win.

 

“Stingley, he did an unbelievable job on Cooper … He was up for the challenge, up for the matchup,” Ryans said. “That’s what playoff football is about. It’s about your playmakers stepping up and making plays, and that’s what Stingley did all day today.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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