Browns first round pick Barkevious Mingo showed promise in first preseason game

Barkevious Mingo

Barkevious Mingo

The first one is in the books.

Cleveland Browns rookie Barkevious Mingo played in his first NFL preseason game Thursday night, and looked like he belonged. Mingo didn’t even wait until his first defensive play to make his presence felt. The Browns scored on their opening possession, and on the ensuing kick-off Mingo sprinted down the field, evaded a blocker and made the play on the returner.

“I was excited to open the game off,” Mingo said of his kick-off tackle. “I wanted to go down there and make a play.”

He did just that. The rookie didn’t stop there, however. He was as quick as advertised in the pass rush and helped keep St. Louis quarterbacks under pressure. He was credited with a pair of quarterback hits and collapsed the pocket on several more plays.

“It was fun,” Mingo said. “It was everything I thought it would be. I enjoyed being out there with my teammates. I just really enjoyed getting back to playing football.”

The rookie from LSU isn’t about to settle for what he accomplished in the first preseason game.

“There’s a learning curve,” Mingo said about Ray Horton’s defense and the NFL in general. “I have some more work to do. Everything wasn’t perfect. Every play wasn’t perfect, there were some busted assignments and I’ve got work to do.”

In the second half, Mingo recorded his first sack of the preseason. Well, sort of. There was a tripping penalty on the play which negated the sack. The penalty was on the blocker trying to stop Mingo.

“It was kind of flukish,” Mingo said. “I just barely got a hand on him and he kind of fell.”

Mingo joked with reporters that he was trying to convince coach Rob Chudzinski to decline the penalty.

The Rams ended up using double teams to try and slow the pressure from Mingo and veteran linebacker Quentin Groves in the third quarter. If Mingo missed any assignments, he tried to make up for it by getting to the quarterback or the ball carrier in a hurry.

“That’s one thing that coach Baker wants us to do: Tto play wide open if you make a mistake, make it going a hundred miles an hour,” said the rookie linebacker.

Defensive captain D’Qwell Jackson was impressed with the rookie’s first action.

“He did a great job,” Jackson said. “It’s tough going from practice and then going to game speed and being able to rush the passer every down. He did a tremendous job. He showed great poise and condition. He was in great condition and that’s the first battle. When you start playing these games the level of intensity goes through the roof and he was able to match that intensity. We all have a lot of work to do, and it’s a good start for Mingo.”

Free agent acquisition Paul Kruger also liked what he saw out of the speedy linebacker.

“I thought he was really explosive,” Kruger said. “He just has to refine a few things and he is right there. He is an extremely talented guy that knows the defense. For him, I think it is going to be a really good progression, really quick.”

(Photo: Rick Grayshock/WFNY)

  • Dan

    SUPER BOWL!!!!

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I enjoyed the game, even as I took it with a grain of salt. It was great seeing the offense in an early rhythm. Weeded looked like he made two throws that I would have wanted him to change (like the one where the ball was tipped into Little’s hands) or take back altogether (like the serious overthrow he made outside of the endzone on our first drive.) Otherwise, I thought he did a very good job. Our running game needs some serious work…but almost everytime I counted defenders, there were at least 8 in the box…so there was that to account for.

    Defensively, I thought we were helped out by some poor hands by the ST Louis WR’s. Particularly in building up that 17-0 lead. Still, was a fun game to watch.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Just curious, but what was it about the throw that Cameron tipped and Little caught that you didn’t like? The throw looked like it was right on the money to me, basically hitting Cameron in the face. Looked like it was purely a mistake from Cameron from what I remember.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I think he rifled it in there too hard (that’s why I said changed as opposed to taking it back altogether.) To me, that was one of those “dual mistakes” where the QB had a minor mistake and the “receiver” had a mistake as well. Fortunately, the DB’s all made the mistake of playing for the ball and allowing Little to go up and grab it.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Gotcha… I thought that was okay. It seemed like the defender was closing in quickly behind Cameron. But I see your point as well, you don’t want to see that Brett Favre mentality of just throwing as hard as possible all of the time.

  • Gamer

    It was also a bad throw because it was in front of the first down marker on a third down play

  • Backwoods

    I thought Little was actually the intended on that play. that is why Weeden put so much zip on it. I’m assuming Cameron either pulled up short on his route or ran it too deep.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    So the only one who didn’t make a mistake was Little? Wait, what…it must be preseason! 😉

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I know one thingo Mingo can run! Dude was all over the place.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I hadn’t considered that…but if that is the case, then Weeden is throwing to a spot where there are multiple defenders in the area. Either way, I’d have wanted that throw at least changed some. If they (Cameron and Little) are pulling crossing routes at different depths, then hesitate on the throw just a shade more and lead the receiver. If it’s to Cameron, pull a little off of it. If it’s to Little, don’t throw it when you have two guys (our WR and the guy covering him) are crossing underneath of that route.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    He’s better than people give him credit for. He had a horrendous start (with the drops especially) last year…but actually improved quite a bit as the season wore on. I need to find the link I read nearly two weeks ago (while I was out of state) that showed his catch% after the first 6 weeks. He was phenomenal.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Yeah, he has some seriously legit speed. He needs to refine his pass rush moves a little more (but hey, he’s a rookie, that’s to be expected.)

  • Backwoods

    I agree. My first reaction was that the tipped pass bailed him out. But, I’ll have to find a replay of it to tell for sure.

  • Backwoods

    Still had a drop..

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Are you talking about the sideline pass that he basically had no shot at catching because he wasn’t going to land in bounds anyways?

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Weeden said that it was partially his fault because he ‘scared’ Cameron by throwing it into his eyes. So it was intended for Cameron.