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Heavy workload for rookies in NFL debut | Daily Brew

On the first play of Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, Jalen Pitre helped tackle RB Jonathan Taylor. Later, the Houston Texans second-round draft pick would make a read on Matt Ryan's pass and nearly pick off a tipped pass.

"It was a fun game," Pitre said. "I enjoyed it. Felt like the defense was flying around and having a lot of fun out there with those guys. There are a lot of things I want to clean up going into Week 2, specifically my tackling. Second, my patience and my reads. I think those two are the two biggest things that I'm looking to improve on come game two."

In the fourth quarter, Derek Stingley, the Texans No. 3 overall pick, knocked away a touchdown pass to WR Alec Pierce on third-and-goal.

"He (Pierce) was a little tight, so I figured he was going to do something outside," Stingley said. "I tried to stay outside leverage and when the ball wasn't thrown yet. He just took it back in. I followed him and the ball was thrown, and I made a play on the ball."

Pitre finished with 11 total tackles (five solo), the second-most tackles for a rookie in Texans team history. The only other player to record more tackles was LB DeMeco Ryans, who finished with 13 in his 2006 debut against Philadelphia. Stingley added seven total tackles (three solo) and a pass defensed.

"First game regular season game they were active, (Jalen) Pitre was," Head Coach Lovie Smith said. "What he'll tell you is that he probably missed a few too many tackles but made plays throughout. The same thing with (Derek) Stingley, there was some good. Everybody that played yesterday, all the NFL players, there are some plays you would like to have back. Probably played both of the guys a little more than the initial plan was for them."

In their NFL debuts, both rookies played 100 percent of the defensive snaps, 92 plays, in the overtime finish that ended in a 20-20 tie. Pitre said he felt good despite the heavy workload, which only helped his confidence and continuity in reading plays.

"It helps a lot," he said. "As many reps I can get out there with my teammates, that helps build the bond. It helps me get more familiar with the defense. I'm happy that I played as much as I did and I look forward to continuing to getting a lot of snaps."

The (0-0-1) Texans will face the (0-1) Denver Broncos in Week 2. Sunday's kickoff from Empower Field at Mile High is set for 3:25 p.m. CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.

Browse no fee tickets for Texans-Chargers on October 2 @ 12:00 PM.

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