One Browns rookie helping another

One Browns rookie helping another
June 26, 2013, 12:00 am

The Browns apparently are expecting first-round draft pick Barkevious Mingo to play an additional role other than outside linebacker. He’s also being a role model.

Another rookie, seventh-round pick Armonty Bryant, a defensive end from East Central (Okla.), has acknowledged having to deal with a substance abuse problem — Bryant was arrested for drunken driving within a week of being drafted — but one of the ways he’s dealing with it is to hang out a lot with Mingo.

"He's just been keeping me focused and just really helping me out through my situation and everything,” Bryant told The Plain Dealer. “We go out, go watch a movie, go out to dinner, just get my mind off stuff like that.''

Mingo said: "He's obviously trying to make amends for the mistakes he's made in his past. He's trying to stop doing stuff that caused him problems. Me not doing that and him being with me, we kind of just have common interests, I guess."

Bryant, Mingo and other rookies have just attended the NFL’s symposium designed to help them avoid issues such as substance abuse that could derail their careers. They heard from the likes of former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett and ex-NBA player Chris Herren, whose life was ruined by drug abuse. After listening to these cautionary tales, Bryant was asked whether he’d had a drug and alcohol problem.

"I would say yes,'' Bryant said. "Because I thought at times I was above the game, and that's one thing they’ve been teaching us at the symposium — don’t be above the game. It's a blessing that I’m even here playing this game and living out a dream of mine. So don't take advantage of this, and I feel that’s exactly what I did.''

But with Mingo’s help, maybe he can stay on the right path.