Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo got his NFL career off to a good start by picking up three sacks in his first three games this year.
The league adjusted, however, and Mingo’s production has dropped. He has just one sack in his last six games and hasn’t made much of an impact in other phases of the defense. Mingo was also beaten for a blocked punt while playing as a blocker on the punt team last week against the Bengals to add to the struggles.
Despite those struggles, Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton said that he’s not disappointed with Mingo’s performance. He does, however, want to put more on the rookie’s plate in order to help him avoid the drop that rookies sometimes experience in their first NFL seasons.
“I expect a lot from him, and I’m challenging him off the field — meaning extra stuff to study and do more for us,” Horton said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’m throwing a lot more at him this week also to be accountable. We put a lot on the young man, and he’s playing different positions for us. After Week 10 or 11, it’s an extended season for rookies. So it’s a big factor for us to gauge him how he’s doing in the workload and the home life and all that stuff [during] this last push of the season. But he’s doing everything we want.”
Mingo isn’t the only rookie pass rusher having a hard time with the transition to the NFL this season and we’ve seen plenty of others have the same learning period before finding their game in future seasons. The Browns are hoping to see a glimpse of that in the closing weeks and it sounds like they’ll be giving Mingo every opportunity to display it.