BEREA – It didn’t take the Browns top draft pick to make an impression.
Sunday was the first day of full pads at Browns training camp and Barkevious Mingo blew by rookie tackle Martin Wallace on his way to Jason Campbell, who had no time to react. Mingo couldn’t hit Campbell because he’s wearing the red jersey of the quarterback, but it definitely qualified as a sack.
The move made Rob Chudzinski smile.
“He flashed,” the Browns head coach said. “I saw him getting around the edge on some guys. He had a nice counter move on his pass rush.
“It was a good day to see him and be able to get him in pads. You can see these guys at full speed, finally.”
Mingo said he’s looking forward to being able to start hitting opposing quarterbacks.
“You’ve got to love hitting if you want to play this game,” Mingo said. “You’ve got to love being physical. That’s just what I wanted to come out and show.”
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton talked about Mingo just before training camp opened.
“I like where he’s at,” Horton said. “He’s probably on pace for where a rookie should be. I would question maybe – put a little caveat on that – he’s a guy who’s transitioning from a guy with his hand on the ground to standing up. He’s spent a lot of time working on the playbook and terminology. For him being ready for day one opening camp, I think he’s right where he should be.”
Mingo along with Jabaal Sheard and free agents acquisitions Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves are expected to give the Browns a big pass rush this season from the outside linebacker position. Horton is expected to move Mingo and the other linebackers around and use them on both sides of the field.
Kruger likes what he sees in the young rookie from LSU.
“The biggest thing I’d probably (say to him) is just to be patient,” he said. “You know you’re talented and you feel like you can come right in and do the things you’ve always done. For me, I wasn’t as ready as I felt I was right away. Everybody’s situation is different, but I was hungry to get out and play and just trying to soak it all in. When you have a veteran team, sometimes the young guy has to be patient.”
Mingo has been running with the second team thus far in camp, but if he continues to get to the quarterback, it won’t be long until he’s on the field the lion’s share of the time.
— Jordan Norwood made a case for himself at wide receiver in Monday’s practice. He caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Jason Campbell with a nice grab in the corner of the end zone. He also made a nice diving catch on a ball.
“Honestly, I just remember the couple of passes I thought I should’ve caught.”
Norwood plays the slot receiver position and Davone Bess is expected to be the primary third down receiver. However, with Josh Gordon suspended for the first two games of the regular season, there is an opening for one of the receivers to step in.
— Once again, the secondary made some interceptions. Cornerback Chris Owens grabbed a pass in the end zone from Brandon Weeden, and cornerback Joe Haden intercepted a pass at the goal line. Haden also made a nice play breaking up a pass in the end zone on a long pass intended for Greg Little from Weeden.
“You’re never happy with interceptions,” Chudzinski said. “The quarterbacks are trying to make all the throws that they need to do in the system, so sometimes that happens. But, you’re never happy with interceptions.”
— Weeden had an up and down day. He threw two interceptions, but hit Little for a touchdown on a post pattern in goal line situation. Weeden hit tight end Jordan Cameron for a touchdown as Cameron made a nice leaping catch.
— Gordon is battling ‘patellar tendinitis’ according to Chudzinski. Gordon was taking part in in individual drills but sat out the team drills.
“He tried to push through, but I’m not too concerned,” Chudzinski said. “It was bothering him enough in the individual drills, so we had him sit out.”
— The Browns are starting to get some guys banged up as DL Desmond Bryant (back), RB Montario Hardesty (hamstring) and DB Tashaun Gipson (shoulder) were held out for the second-straight day. Chudzinski termed each guy as ‘day-to-day’. OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), OL Chris Faulk (knee) and DB Jamoris Slaughter (hamstring) were also on the side.
— The Browns will be off Tuesday as part of a league mandated rule. The next practice open to the public is Wednesday from 4-6:30 pm. Chudzinski said the team will be in full pads.
— Chudzinski said that Saturday’s Family Day will be a regular practice session. The event will be at FirstEnergy Stadium.