Good morning, check out our game preview and prediction for the Browns' Week 6 matchup today against the Denver Bronco . In this week's edition of "The Sunday Five," I take a look at the utilization of OLB Barkevious Mingo, two Browns players going to Canton, how K Travis Coons is working to get better on kickoffs, and more.fans, and welcome to gameday! Be sure to
1. Mingo Has a Right to be Upset: This week, the agent of OLB Barkevious Mingo told the Plain Dealer that his client is an impact player and needs to be on the field more. While the agent didn't say he would request a trade for his client, I think Mingo has a right to be upset with his utilization this year. Overall, Mingo has not even come close to living up to the potential of a No. 6 overall pick (in 2013). Last year, the new coaching staff converted Mingo from a pass-rushing linebacker to one who would drop back in coverage. While he wasn't a dominant player in that role, he did a respectable job and was also an asset in stopping the run. Remember that he hurt his shoulder on the second play of the 2014 season, and instead of opting for surgery, he toughed through playing with one arm all of last year.
This offseason, the only thing the team did to address the position was draft OLB Nate Orchard. With OLB Jabaal Sheard not re-signed, the belief was that Mingo's role would, at a minimum, remain the same as it was a year ago. Instead, the team penciled OLB Scott Solomon in as a starter right away, despite having very little game experience. He's now on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury in his return game last week. OLB Armonty Bryant was used as a defensive lineman all camp, and suddenly went to outside linebacker ahead of Mingo in Week 1. Defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil has turned one of his more stable outside linebackers into a limited-down niche player in 2015. This week, I hope we see Mingo play around half of the snaps, because the defense needs some more athleticism at the position to try to make some big plays.
2. Hall of Fame, Part II: Last year, QB Brian Hoyer and WR Travis Benjamin had their jerseys sent to the NFL Hall of Fame for their parts in the Browns' record road comeback against the Titans. This year, another Browns duo had their jerseys sent to Canton: QB Josh McCown and TE Gary Barnidge.
Always nice to see our players get some positive recognition! McCown was also the AFC Player of the Week for his franchise-record performance against the Ravens.
3. Working Ibraheim Campbell In? The Browns have been making an effort to work some of the younger players in, and this week might be the time to try S Ibraheim Campbell a little bit. FS Tashaun Gipson has not had a banner season through five weeks, which has to be pretty devastating to the "big-time contract" hopes he had when he held out a good portion of the offseason. Campbell has been limited to a special teams role this year, but with the defense struggling as they are and injuries in the secondary, this is the time you want to see who else can possible add a spark. I'd also advocate that CB Justin Gilbert should get some snaps if the Browns run some trap coverage plays with him.
4. The Never-Ending Bowe Story: When asked about WR Dwayne Bowe this week, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said the following:
"We are going to need Dwayne at some point this year. There is no doubt about it. It is a long season. I don’t count games. This is Week 6, right? We are going to have ten games after this. We are going to need Dwayne at some point this season. There is no doubt about it. We just have to keep going and I see progress from Dwayne every week."
To me, that translates to, "if we get really depleted with injuries, we'll give him a shot." He's a lost cause, otherwise.
In other coordinator news, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was asked about K Travis Coons' range last week in overtime for the game-winning kick:
"That’s why we elected – there was little bit of a breeze at his back right there, and we thought that definitely from 53 that he was definitely going to have a really good opportunity to make that, and if we had to stretch it a little further, that we could."
Tabor also talked about Coons trying to get better with his kickoffs:
"There’s been some missed contact with it, and that’s something that he is working on. It’s an area that he needs to improve and he will improve, but he’s also beginning to move the ball a little bit, which is going to help us, especially with the weather. I think it’s supposed to be pretty windy on Sunday. I think the things that he’s been working on hopefully comes into play."
5. Projecting the Inactives for the Broncos vs. Browns: It's time to predict the inactives on gameday, as the team can only dress 46 players. The players we know for sure will be inactive this week are ILB , FS Tashaun Gipson, and CB Joe Haden. The other four inactives I'm projecting are QB , RB , WR Dwayne Bowe, and TE . The only one I'd question is Draughn, because RB Robert Turbin is making his debut and RB Isaiah Crowell has a toe injury that we don't know much about. Bibbs is getting the redshirt treatment this week, and TE Rob Housler actually caught a pass last week! Housler's opportunities will continue to increase as Cleveland uses more of a pass-heavy offense.