All smiles: Newly signed Mingo ready to start camp
CLEVELAND – The smile rarely disappeared when Browns first-round draft choice Barkevious Mingo addressed the media Monday.
Mingo had plenty of reasons to smile one day after signing a four-year, $16 million contract that includes a team option for a fifth season. The outside linebacker from LSU was the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft.
“It’s like a weight has been lifted,” said Mingo of getting the contract finalized. “I know I need to be in camp and get ready for the season. Being here on time is going to help me do that.”
Mingo said he weighs more than he did at minicamp in early June, but he wouldn’t say how much he weighed in at. His weight at minicamp was 237 pounds.
“I’m bigger than I was before I got here and I’m not trying to stop right there,” he said. “I’m going to keep going. Coaches have been doing a great job. I’m getting stronger and bigger, but I’m keeping my quickness. I think that’s the best way to go about that.”
Almost as happy as Mingo is first-year coach Rob Chudzinski. Coaches never like dealing with holdout situations, especially when it involves rookies who have much to learn.
“It’s good to have the guys in,” Chudzinski said. “This is a good opportunity for them to come in for a few days, re-acclimate themselves and get a little extra attention and spend some time with their coaches and then get out on the field and get some individual-type things.”
LOOKING BETTER: Chudzinski liked what he saw of quarterback Brandon Weeden during offseason practices. In particular, Weeden has made strides in getting the ball out quicker than he did last season, when he often lined up under center.
“Last year didn’t go the way I wanted it to,” Weeden said. “I knew I had to do whatever I had to do for myself and for the team to get better. There’s more confidence there because I’ve been around these guys. I feel like I’ve taken steps, but I have to get better day in and day out.”
Weeden credits improved footwork for his impressive practices.
“I worked on speeding up mentally,” Weeden said. “Last year I was getting too deep. I’ve worked on shortening it. You have to be conscious about it. (Offensive coordinator) Norv (Turner) is big on speeding it up and getting the ball out on time. That’s all I focused on the last six or seven weeks that I was away.”
LATE WORK: Chudzinski is the first Browns coach in recent memory who will conduct afternoon workouts. Practices are set to run from 4 to 6 p.m.
“Basically, in one particular day we’ll do one whole install during that day, so it gives us a chance to install in the morning, to walk through in the morning as well, meet again on it and then practice,” Chudzinski said. “At the end of the day we’ll be able to review it to make corrections. So from a learning standpoint, everything is happening in one particular day as guys are getting ready for that day.”
READY TO GO: Chudzinski reports that running back Trent Richardson has recovered from a lower leg injury that sidelined him during minicamp. He could be on the field Thursday.
NOT YET: Receiver David Nelson and free-agent offensive lineman Chris Faulk will open camp on the active physically unable to perform list. Both players had serious knee injuries last season.
Rookie safety Jamoris Slaughter will avoid going on the PUP list. Slaughter tore an Achilles’ tendon while playing for Notre Dame last season.