We’ve taken to the roundtables recently as a good way to bring our email conversations back on to the front pages of the site. Today, we’re talking about Barkevious Mingo and why it seems that Browns fans are taking his injury situation in stride.
Craig: How surprised are you that there isn’t a lot of panic or fatalistic commentary regarding Barkevious Mingo’s injury? In the past if the top draft pick of the Browns got hurt in somewhat mysterious fashion before even embarking on a regular season NFL career, we’d be talking about putting it on the same timeline with Courtney Brown, Kellen Winslow, LeCharles Bentley and Staph infections. Yet, for whatever reason, I don’t get the feeling that Browns fans are letting this bother them just yet. What accounts for the low level of panic and newly renewed patience factor?
Scott: I think it definitely helps that he’s started to run and will (reportedly) increase activity leading up to Opening Day. If they end up listing him as out/doubtful for the opener, I think the clamoring will heat up.
Jacob: Another point that’s valuable in this discussion: The overall expectations for Barkevious Mingo’s 2013 are lower than what usually is the case for a big Cleveland free agent signing or a No. 6 pick.
With the similar offseason additions of Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant, Mingo’s just not a huge aspect of what the Browns are doing this season. He’ll obviously be expected to be an impact player long-term. But maybe the fact that fans aren’t counting on him for immediate production has made this a surprisingly small issue.
Kirk: It certainly *could* heat up, but I think it’s because our expectations were already slightly tempered with Mingo. He’s not a starter (yet) or an every down player, and I think the other defensive additions of Kruger, Bryant, Groves, Owens, etc. to a strong core have allowed us as fans to be okay with a slower, cautious road back with Mingo.
Scott: I also wonder if the knucklehead factor plays a role here. Fans largely seem to trust Mingo. If this were Winslow, and the cause of the injury were “unknown,” I think there would be a cavalcade of speculation, each ounce tasting worse than the last.
Kirk: It’s such an off the wall thing too. How often do you hear about a bruised lung especially when he didn’t know on which play he was injured?
Mingo being an apparent high character guy certainly doesn’t hurt though.
TD: With the signing of Paul Kruger and the fact that Jabaal Sheard was able to take to the 3-4 outside LB position so well, it feels as though the need for Mingo isn’t as great. Also, he is an outside linebacker. If he played WR or RB, people would be freaking out. Nature of the beast.
Rick: It surprises me because of the unknown nature of it. Around Cleveland sports these kinds of mysteries end up being quite serious. Varejao, Jurevicius, Pinkston.
Andrew: I think it’s bizarre that this is the 3rd serious lung-related injury to Cleveland athletes in the last year. That feels like a crazy coincidence. But as to why Browns fans aren’t freaking out over Mingo, I’m not exactly sure. I think some of it might still be honeymoon period. With so many new faces in the organization, I just get the sense that a lot of fans are taking a “wait and see” approach to all matters on this season.
Now it’s up to you, the readers at WFNY. I will add one last thing, though.
How much of this has to do with the new organization from Joe Banner down? I noticed all pre-season that coach press conferences weren’t very contentious when they sure used to be with Pat Shurmur. Chud has a radio show to talk to the fans. Joe Banner gives answers and gives specific reasons why he won’t answer certain things. Guys like Alec Scheiner talk to the media. Kevin Griffin is all over Twitter and even made a point to visit with Browns backers at their tailgate in Indianapolis before the game. Have the Browns effectively disarmed a large amount of angst and paranoia (so far) with visibility and transparency?