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Quinton Dunbar watched in middle school as Larry Fitzgerald caught passes in the NFL.

Years later, Fitzgerald was patting Dunbar on the helmet for a job well done.

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Washington Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar had a big game last Sunday against Arizona.Rick Scuteri/The Associated Press

Dunbar helped shut down Fitzgerald and other receivers in Week 1, picking off Sam Bradford and looking like the kind of player Washington envisioned when it converted him from wideout to cornerback. His next challenge is Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts’ passing attack as the Redskins look to start 2-0 for the first time since 2011.

“Tough matchup,” Dunbar said. “He’s up there with the best of them in my opinion. You watch him, you see a guy who’s tough, smart, understands defences.”

Dunbar has already intercepted Carson Wentz, Eli Manning and Bradford in his career, evidence his instincts are worthy of the coaching staff’s faith. He had to embrace the “heart and mentality” of being able to make tackles, and he had five at Arizona.

“I think it was one of his better games as a pro here,” coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s got to continue to make strides to get better and keep studying the game and the people he is covering.”

Dunbar should continue to get plenty of play-making opportunities because he’s starting opposite 2015 All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman. Luck, who missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury, is coming off a 39 of 53 passing performance with 319 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the Colts’ season-opening loss to Cincinnati.

Luck – and then Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers in Week 3 – are significant tests for Dunbar, who insists he looks forward to every matchup and doesn’t take anyone lightly. What he does is trust what he sees on film, combined with what coaches have taught him about the position. He’s has gotten to the point where he’s not a work in progress anymore.

“I’ve been comfortable for a while,” Dunbar said. “[I’m] just trusting what the coaches wanted and the vision they had for me.”

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