November 24, 2014

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Browns Notes: OLB Barkevious Mingo has INT, big return as good start to camp continues

Browns' running back Edwin Baker looks to run the ball into the end zone during the scrimmage game on Aug. 2. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Browns’ running back Edwin Baker looks to run the ball into the end zone during the scrimmage game on Aug. 2. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

AKRON — Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo has been All-Berea through one week of training camp. He added All-Akron to his resume after the Family Day scrimmage Saturday at InfoCision Stadium.

Mingo intercepted a Brian Hoyer pass tipped by rookie defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel and returned it nearly 50 yards.

“I was fortunate enough to come down with it,” Mingo said. “The first instinct is to take it to the house. I had some guys coming on angles, got a spin in there, worked on my running back moves and eventually got tackled.”

“He was hell-bent on scoring,” coach Mike Pettine said. “I was waiting for the officials to blow that one dead, but that was a heckuva play by him.”

Hoyer had the angle on Mingo and “tagged” him early in the return, but Mingo continued downfield until right tackle Mitchell Schwartz tackled him.

“I would’ve tackled him first of all if it weren’t a scrimmage,” Hoyer said.

“I would’ve dropped the shoulder,” Mingo said with a laugh. “But it’s all fun and games.”

Mingo’s start to camp has been all business. He had an interception early on the first day, has been consistently in the backfield and blew up another play Saturday with penetration.

“He definitely seems to be around the ball a lot, he’s so fast and so long and his arms are down to wherever they go, and his hands are up there,” Hoyer said. “I know he didn’t bat the ball, but he catches it and he takes off and he’s running 4.5 down the field. It’s nice to have a guy like that who can also come off the edge.

“I know there were a few times where I rolled out and he was right there. It’s good to see him make a jump from his rookie year to the next year and I think he kind of knows what it takes now. He’s one year in and obviously all the physical talent in the world is there.”

Mingo was the sixth pick in the 2013 draft but had a disappointing rookie year. He started three games, totaling 42 tackles and five sacks, only two after Week 4.

“Coming in here, I know what to expect,” he said. “I know what my job (entails). I know how to play my techniques. I’m comfortable with the offense, what they’re going to throw at us. I’m comfortable with the defense, knowing what I’m required to do. It’s Year 2. I’ve just got to get after them.”

INJURY UPDATE
Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron started the scrimmage but left with a shoulder injury.

“Jordan Cameron hurt his shoulder, he should be fine,” Pettine said. “It was more precautionary than anything else.”

Cameron caught a pass for no gain on the opening possession and was targeted on an incompletion on the final play of the drive.

Starting free safety Tashaun Gipson has a sprained left knee and didn’t participate in the scrimmage, but Pettine called the injury “relatively minor” and said Gipson will hopefully be back midweek.

Gipson left practice Friday and didn’t return. He was replaced by Jordan Poyer with the starters.

MAKING MEMORIES

McDaniel went from just another undrafted rookie to scrimmage star.

In addition to the tip that led to Mingo’s interception, he returned a fumble for a touchdown. Linebacker Craig Robertson intercepted undrafted rookie quarterback Connor Shaw, fumbled and McDaniel scooped it up and scored from about 10 yards out.

“The guy’s going to be a stud,” Mingo said. “He’s wreaking havoc on the line. He can just get his hands on balls. What more can you ask for?”

McDaniel (6-foot, 293 pounds) was a reserve at Florida State as a senior. He started all 14 games as a sophomore.

Receiver Miles Austin caught three passes for 38 yards from Hoyer, including a 19-yarder.

Undrafted rookie receiver Willie Snead had two catches for 23 yards.

Kicker Billy Cundiff made 42-, 53- and 28-yard field goals.

A DAY TO FORGET

Shaw, trying to challenge veteran Tyler Thigpen for the No. 3 job, had a brutal day.

Inside linebacker Zac Diles tipped a ball to himself and returned the interception for a touchdown. Shaw was given another chance right away, which ended three plays later when he threw an ill-advised screen pass that was picked by Robertson.

Receiver Charles Johnson dropped a slant from Johnny Manziel at the goal line that would’ve been the offense’s lone touchdown. He didn’t have a catch.

Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins was penalized for a false start and lost 3 yards on his only catch, a quick hitch.

EXTRA POINTS

  • Receiver Josh Gordon wasn’t at the scrimmage. His appeal of a drug suspension will continue Monday afternoon in New York.
  • Defensive tackle Phil Taylor (hamstring), linebackers Tank Carder (foot) and linebacker Darius Eubanks (shoulder), receiver Chandler Jones (hamstring) and offensive linemen Martin Wallace (shoulder), Randall Harris (knee) and Nate McDonald (wrist) didn’t practice.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @scottpetrak.

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