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Mingo ready to get down to business

Posted Jul 23, 2013

BEREA, Ohio -- With his contract signed, Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo is ready to get to the business of playing football.

BEREA, Ohio -- In the early-morning hours Sunday, outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo signed his contract with the Cleveland Browns, and with the business side of football behind him, Mingo is ready to get to work with the start of training camp on Thursday.

“It’s just a weight that’s been lifted,” Mingo said Monday. “I know I need to be here at camp. I know I need to be ready for the season, and just being here on time is going to help me do that.

“I just want to play football. This team is ready to play football, and that’s our goal. Our goal is to go out and play football.”

Mingo referred to the negotiations period as “an eye-opener” of an experience.

“When you’re growing up and you’re watching football, you think they just come ready to play and just play football,” Mingo said. “There’s also a different side of that. It’s a business, and the club, they want to do what’s best for them and your agent’s looking out for you. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to get ready to play football.

“From Day One, I thought the contract would be done way before it was, but it took a while. It had some hiccups, but it got done. Everybody’s pleased, and now, I’m here.”

Mingo became the final member of the Browns’ 2013 draft class -- along with defensive backs Leon McFadden and Jamoris Slaughter, defensive lineman Armonty Bryant, and offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey -- to sign a four-year contract and report early enough to attend every meeting to learn his responsibilities within coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4 defense.

“It’s good to have the guys in, especially for the young guys,” coach Rob Chudzinski said. “This is a good opportunity for them to come in for a few days, re-acclimate themselves, get a little extra attention, spend some time with their coaches and then, get on the field. We’re doing some individual, mostly individual-type things and just a little bit of team. I’m excited about having them back.”

Since signing his contract, Mingo has received plenty of advice about what awaits him in training camp, and the former LSU defensive end heads into his first NFL training camp with the focus on reaching his full potential.

“They just said it’s going to be the toughest days of your life,” Mingo said with his trademark smile. “I’ve seen the schedule. It’s sun-up to sun-down. It’s going to be a lot, but just preparing your body and having your body be in the best shape that it could be in I think is one of the key things. Going to rehab, stretching, drinking water, all of that is going to be helpful toward me.”