BEREA – Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo turned the corner Sunday and blew by undrafted rookie tackle Martin Wallace. Before backup quarterback Jason Campbell could react, Mingo was next to him.
Quarterbacks aren’t allowed to be touched, but that qualified as a sack. And it came in Mingo’s first NFL practice in full pads.
“You’ve got to love hitting if you want to play this game,” said Mingo, the No. 6 pick in April. “You’ve got to love being physical. That’s just what I wanted to come out and show.”
Mingo added a stop of Dion Lewis in a run drill and forced Wallace to hold him on another pass rush.
“He flashed. I saw him getting around the edge on some guys,” coach Rob Chudzinski said. “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 in full speed, finally.”
Mingo, who lined up on both sides, also had plenty of plays where he looked like a rookie, especially when matched against tackle Rashad Butler. The eighth-year veteran controlled Mingo with his arms and was patient enough to handle his second move.
“He’s fast. He’s definitely going to get stronger the older he gets,” said Butler, the second-team left tackle. “But right now, the one thing he does have is speed. He can pressure you upfield. But I’m trying to make him better, and I know he’s trying to get better every day by going against me.”
Is Mingo (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) stronger than he looks?
“Not yet, not yet, but I know over time, he’ll get there,” said Butler, who’s 6-4, 310. “He’s only a young pup. The kid’s only 22, so he’ll get there.”
Going from facing college linemen to NFL linemen is a huge adjustment for a pass rusher.
“There’s a lot of things that guys at the line of scrimmage have to learn about this league,” outside linebackers coach Brian Baker said. “The timing of the passing game, how athletic the offensive linemen are. The NFL’s a different breed.
“In college, you get those big dudes, they tend to chase guys. A good NFL lineman is very patient, he sets on his track, he times his punch, he knows where the quarterback is going to be in the pocket, so he tries to steer you in a direction other than that. So (Mingo’s) got to get a feel for all those things. He’s got to get a feel for how quickly he can get to that sweet spot in the pass rush. You only get that by time in the grass.”
FLEET OF FOOT
Lewis scored a touchdown on a short pass, putting a breathtaking move on safety Kenronte Walker and cruising into the end zone. Walker bought the juke and never touched Lewis.
“That guy has unbelievable feet. I mean, unbelievable feet,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said of Lewis. “I’d love to see that guy do the foot ladder with (the quarterbacks) before practice. I’d hate to be stuck in the open field with him. You get the ball in space with him, he could make you miss and look silly at times.
“He’s explosive with the ball in his hands. He brings a little different dimension than what we do with Trent (Richardson). He catches the ball extremely well. He does a lot of good things for us. He’s a nice change of pace.”
Lewis (5-7, 195) was acquired April 11 from Philadelphia in a trade for linebacker Emmanuel Acho. He saw an increase in repetitions the last two days and took advantage.
He’s in a battle with Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya for roster spots and time behind Richardson.
Lewis wasn’t impressed with his touchdown.
“I’m supposed to do that. I don’t expect to lose a one-on-one situation,” he said. “That’s what I expect from myself and anything else is a letdown.”
Chudzinski said there was no news on offensive lineman Ryan Miller, who sustained a concussion Saturday. Miller was in the Browns’ facility Sunday for part of the day.
“He is currently in the NFL concussion protocol,” Chudzinski said. “I saw him last night before we got to our nightly meetings.”
The league protocol requires Miller to be consistently evaluated by medical personnel and for him to pass a series of tests before being allowed to return to practice.
Miller was thankful for the support he’s received.
“Humbled by all the prayers & kind thoughts,” he tweeted. “Recovering more & more each day en route to return to the field! #KCCO #BrownsCamp Jere 29:11″
Defensive end Desmond Bryant dressed but didn’t practice. Chudzinski said he experienced back spasms and is day-to-day.
Billy Winn took Bryant’s place with the starters.
** Hardesty sat out with a hamstring injury and worked on the side with trainers. He’s day-to-day.
** Free safety Tashaun Gipson suffered a shoulder sprain on a collision with receiver Josh Gordon. Chudzinski said he’s not concerned.
Johnson Bademosi and Josh Aubrey saw reps with the first-team defense in place of Gipson.
** Rookie free safety Jamoris Slaughter wore shorts, didn’t practice and watched intently from behind the drills. He practiced the first three days, his first action since suffering a torn Achilles tendon at Notre Dame.
** Receiver David Nelson competed in team drills for the first time as he continues to come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He caught a touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer in a red zone drill.
** Fullback Brock Bolen (calf) remained sidelined.
Receiver Greg Little jumped over cornerback Chris Owens to catch a pass in the end zone in a one-on-one drill.
** Fullback Owen Marecic worked with the second team. Ogbonnaya was used as the fullback in some two-back sets with the starters.
** The undrafted rookies have their names taped to the front of their helmets so the coaches can yell at them by name.
** The Browns will mail season ticket holders bags that meet the NFL’s new, stricter stadium security policy. The small, clear bag will have the Browns logo and arrive in time for the regular-season opener.
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