With Jamie Collins now a Brown, somebody’s going to have to step into the role he vacated.
Sunday, for the first time since the deal, we had a chance to ask Bill Belichick about one of Collins’ possible successors, Barkevious Mingo. Mingo is dying for a chance after the bye.
Where is he in Bill Belichick’s mind? Adjusting.
“Mingo has worked hard since he’s been here,” said Belichick. “I’ve been impressed with his work ethic, his desire to learn. Our system is a little bit different than what he’s been used to, but that hasn’t really stopped him from really trying to embrace what we’ve asked him to do and work hard at it. He has experience on defense and in the kicking game. He’s been a good contributor for us on special teams, and to some degree on defense. Hopefully, he’ll continue to contribute in both areas for us.”
The special teams portion that Mingo has on his plate may continue to cut into his time in the regular defense, Belichick indicated.
“With a player like Barkevious [Mingo], you have a situation where he has a lot of special teams responsibilities, so if we brought in, let’s say an offensive lineman, or a defensive lineman, that may not (be as big an impediment to learning the everydown position). He may not have that big a responsibility in the kicking game, so it’s just really depends on the individual player and how quickly he’s able to acclimate himself to the new situation. I don’t think there’s any set mind frame or you try to go fast, you try to hold back. I think you just kind of take it as it comes.”
Were Mingo still with the Browns -- who took him sixth overall in 2013 -- the special teams excuse would be damning. The Patriots, who gave up a fifth-rounder for Mingo, don’t have to feel like he has underachieved for them. A fifth is a fifth, regardless of where the guy was drafted originally.
That said, Mingo has the measurables and smarts to be more than a curiosity. So how long?
“I think each guy is different. It’s really hard to predict how it’s going to go with any player,” said Belichick. “I think you just take it as it comes. You give them the information and then you move them along and see how quickly he adapts to the new assignments, the new techniques, and just the way he’s able to handle the assignments that he’s given.”