Mingo: 'I've learned a lot' since the draft

Posted Jun 12, 2013

Browns outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo has learned a lot since joining the team and transitioning to a new position at the game’s highest level.

Since the Cleveland Browns made Barkevious Mingo the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft back, the 6-foot-4, 237-pound former defensive end has undergone a position change to outside linebacker, participated in 10 organized team activity sessions and six minicamp practices.

During that time, the former LSU Tiger said he has “learned a lot.”

“I’ve got a better understanding of the playbook,” Mingo said while serving as a guest instructor at the Cleveland Browns’ Youth Football Camp Tuesday. “I learned how to be a professional athlete, how to practice as a professional, and a lot of stuff in this short amount of time. It’s really incredible. 

“I’m going to continue to work out, stay in shape, and report to camp in the best shape that I can come in at.”

Mingo has embraced the way coach Rob Chudzinski, defensive coordinator Ray Horton and the other coaches on staff teach their schemes to the players, by showing them everything and finding out what assignments the team executes best.

“There’s a lot they’re throwing at us, but it’s part of the process,” Mingo said. “You’ve got to get a good understanding of the playbook. You’ve got to learn your assignments, your techniques. You’ve got to learn all of that, and then, translate it onto the field.

“At times, it’s been hard. It’s way different from my experience at college, but it’s football. This is what it is. Don’t think too much. Once you get the understanding, everything will be all good.” 

Part of what Mingo is trying to understand is the importance of dropping into coverage. Having played defensive end his entire career at LSU, there were not many opportunities for him to cover.

“I think I’m doing a great job at it, learning the coverages, the responsibilities of an outside linebacker,” Mingo said. “The transition hasn’t been what I thought. I thought it was going to be 10 times worse, but it’s really been a smooth transition, and I’m enjoying it. 

“I’ve done it a couple times at LSU as a defensive end, but doing it this amount of times at practice, that’s the learning I have to do. It’s coming along (well), and I’m just looking to the future.”

During his college career, Mingo made 15 starts in 40 games, registered 15 sacks for 108 lost yards and made 29 tackles in opposing backfields. He also made 119 total tackles, broke up 11 passes and collected 27 hits on quarterbacks. 

However, those statistics only got him drafted into the NFL. Mingo knows the rest is up to him, and he would not have it any other way.

“I’m just going to go in there, compete for a job and just have fun playing with those guys,” Mingo said of training camp. “We’ve grown close over the last couple weeks that we’ve been here, especially us as rookies. Getting to do stuff like (coaching at the youth camp) really helps us bond, and I think that’s how to build a team.”

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