Browns Barkevious Mingo: “Next year will be a different story”


Dec 7, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (51) sacks Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Colts beat the Browns 25-24. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

After struggling with injuries during his first two years with the Cleveland Browns, outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo is already looking forward to the 2015 season.

Mingo played almost all of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury that required him to strap down his arm on game day. In addition, he took on a new role in the Browns defense, as head coach Mike Pettine and defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil chose to utilize Mingo’s speed in pass coverage rather than as a pass rusher.

The injury and the new role combined to limit Mingo to just two sacks, bringing his two-year total with the Browns to seven. Three of those sacks, however, came in his first three games with the Browns, meaning he’s totaled just four sacks over the ensuing 27 games.

Following surgery in February to fix the problem, and with start of off-season workouts looming, Mingo says he is ready to go.

“Just waiting on final word from the trainers,” Mingo said this week according to “As a competitor, you’re going to always say you feel good. You can have a broken leg and I’m good enough to play. I felt like for the most part last year I was good enough to play. After the games, it was a different story. I put in the preparation during the weeks to get it back strong enough to where I could play. The season’s over, now I have a lot of rest and got it fixed. Next year is going to be a different story.”

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Even though Mingo’s numbers may not be what many would expect from a player who was chosen with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, the Browns were encouraged by his play in 2014.

“We don’t want to make excuses for a guy,” Pettine told the team’s website in February. “But this is a guy that could have shut it down. He decided to go ahead and play with the harness. To me, that’s a credit to him. There’s a level of consistency that he needs to achieve, but I think for the most part that he trended upward as the season went on as he got a little bit more comfortable in the role.”

With the loss of Jabaal Sheard to free agency, the Browns will need Mingo to continue to trend upward this fall. And while there has been talk of having Armonty Bryant join the outside linebacker rotation with Mingo and Paul Kruger, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns use one of their 10 draft picks in the upcoming draft on another edge rusher to throw into the mix. While we like what Bryant brings to the team, the reality is that he is coming off a torn ACL that ended his season in 2014, meaning the Browns won’t know how he’s recovered until they see him in game action.

No matter what role the team has planned for him, there’s no doubt that a healthy Mingo can only help the Browns defense continue to build on the improvement they showed in 2014.

Do you think Barkevious Mingo will take the “next step” in 2015?

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