The Browns officially introduced the members of Mike Pettine’s first coaching staff on Thursday and defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil said he was excited by the young players that Cleveland has on defense.
One of those players is Barkevious Mingo, the edge rusher who was drafted sixth overall last season. Mingo had five sacks in 15 games in a rotational role during a rookie season that was a bit less productive than hoped for on draft day. Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that O’Neil said he’s a big fan of Mingo’s (so is his wife, who O’Neil revealed baked cupcakes for Bills staffers last year to prod them to draft the LSU product), but that doesn’t mean the new staff doesn’t see room to improve.
Pettine said that the organization will push Mingo, who is listed at 240 pounds, to gain weight before next season. If a bigger Mingo can hold up better at the point of attack, he’d help his chances of being on the field more often next season.
Pettine feels confident that the coaching staff can get Mingo to play like player the Browns wanted with the sixth overall pick and the results from Buffalo last year should make Mingo confident that the coaches know what they’re talking about. Pettine, O’Neil and linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach coached that Bills unit to 57 sacks last season, results they’d surely like to replicate with Mingo blossoming into a major threat to opposing quarterbacks.