Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Browns remain undefeated in rookie minicamps

mingo browns rookie campFor the 15th consecutive year the Cleveland Browns simply owned their rookie minicamp.

From Barkevious Mingo’s sleek frame, to Leon McFadden doing things, to the impressive performances by Jamoris Slaughter and Chris Faulk on the stationary bikes, it was all sunshine and rainbows for the guys in Orange and Brown.

“It’s really nice to get a chance to see them, get out with them for the first time and actually see them on the field and see what they can do and have our coaches around to get to know them,” coach Rob Chudzinski said after Friday’s opening session.

Kidding aside, it is nice that the on-field portion of the Browns season has started again. It is a welcome reprieve from the post-draft analysis that has dominated Browns Town the past few weeks. We all know what we think the Browns can do with the current reboot; it’s time to start finding out what they can do.

The one part of the weekend that concerns us a bit is the ongoing obsession from some quarters over Mingo’s weight. (When Mingo took questions from the media on Friday, almost a quarter of the questions reportedly were about his weight.)

Mingo played at LSU at 240 pounds and the Browns obviously knew this when they drafted him. While it may not be a bad idea if Mingo had a little more meat on him, if he is going to put on weight it really should come naturally as he matures, rather than just putting on pounds just for the sake of hitting an artificial number of what an NFL edge rusher “should weigh.”

The biggest asset that Mingo brings to the field is speed and if the Browns were to force weight on him they would run the risk of taking away why they wanted Mingo in the first place.

For his part, Chudzinski sounds like there is no rush to put Mingo on the Refrigerator Perry diet.

“I don’t know if it’s 15-20 pounds (that Mingo needs to add). That remains to be seen,” Chudzinski said. “Different guys have different body types and different weights that they play the best at. You look at guys from Jason Taylor all the way to some of the bigger guys. Really, it’s a matter of getting them in here, spending some time with coach (Brad) Roll and bringing them up to speed. All those things will work themselves out.”

As for Mingo, he sounds like someone who has grown used to being asked about his weight.

“I’ve got to stay in the playbook and just get ready to play,” he said. “It’s just learning new concepts, pass concepts, but the rushing stuff is still the same. You hit, you catch, you tackle. It’s football.

“Whatever they ask me to do I’ll do.  As far as how much, I think I can hold a pretty good bit and still be effective.”

The Browns won another rookie minicamp this weekend.

And if they are right about what Mingo and McFadden, among others, can do on the field, then some of these off-season wins may actually turn into wins when it really matters.

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)

 

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