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Barkevious Mingo challenged by Browns to 'do more'

The Cleveland Browns intended to bring first-round draft pick Barkevious Mingo along slowly this season, but now they want to see him emerge.

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The rookie pass rusher leads the team with four sacks, but he has only one takedown over his past six games.

"I expect a lot from him, and I'm challenging him off the field -- meaning extra stuff to study and do more for us," defensive coordinator Ray Horton said Thursday, per The Plain Dealer.

"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," said Horton. "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."

Mingo's impact has been uneven this season. He currently ranks 39th out of 40 eligible 3-4 outside linebackers, per Pro Football Focus, grading out especially poorly against the run. Cleveland hasn't been able to use him as planned after nagging injuries to Jabaal Sheard and the season-long loss of Quentin Groves thinned the "waves" of pass rushers Horton hoped to employ.

Mingo will be handed a prime opportunity to make a difference at home Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns -- hanging on by a thread in the AFC playoff picture -- are a disastrous 1-15 against Ben Roethlisberger, largely because their defense has long struggled to put the elusive quarterback on the ground.

That's why Mingo was drafted. To do what others in Cleveland, for so long, have not.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" previewed "Thursday Night Football" and "stuck a fork" in three unlucky teams.

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