Hearing Barkevious Mingo say he's getting better in coverage is one thing.
Watching Mingo react quicker to passing drills in training camp was, no doubt, an encouraging sign.
Seeing the Browns' second-year linebacker translate his improvement in a live football setting was the biggest takeaway from Saturday's dress rehearsal in Akron.
Plays like the one Mingo made late in the scrimmage provide a vibrant picture of why the Browns' coaching staff thinks their unit can be among the stingiest in the NFL.
Lined up as an attacking linebacker on Joe Thomas' side, Mingo faked like he was blitzing and dropped back in coverage. Undrafted rookie Jacobi McDaniel got his paw on the Hoyer pass attempt, sending the football floating in mid-air. In one swoop of athleticism, Mingo corralled the ball for an interception, and immediately began rumbling approximately 45-yards down the field.
"I don't know if you guys heard about the offseason camp where my hands were bricks," said Mingo, who told ClevelandBrowns.com that story in this article. "Just improving on that, improving on running drills, improving on anything that can do to help me be a better player so I can help this team win."
That wasn't the only impactful play from Mingo on Saturday. His presence was felt as a pass rusher all afternoon.
"He seems to be around the ball a lot, and he's so fast and so long," said Brian Hoyer. "His arms are down to wherever they go, and his hands are up there. I know he didn't bat the ball, but he catches it and he takes off and he's running 4.5 down the field. It's nice to have a guy like that who can also come off the edge. I know there were a few times where I rolled out and he was right there."
Coach Mike Pettine said earlier last week he thinks young players who shine during the scrimmage can use that as momentum going into preseason games. Mingo has plenty of momentum – and now confidence in his expanding abilities, too.
"We got a scheme that is going to allow us to play to our strengths," said Mingo. "I am just looking forward to what this defense can do."