EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New England Patriots linebacker Barkevious Mingo made a strong first impression in his first game with the team, totaling six tackles and two quarterback hits in Thursday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants.
But behind the scenes, he already had won over Bill Belichick because of his intelligence and work ethic.
“He lived in the facility last week,” Belichick said.
During his pregame interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Belichick was complimentary of Mingo’s versatility and physical traits.
“It’s good to work with him. I think he’ll help us. He’s long, has good length, he’s fast, he picks up things quickly, asks a lot of good questions. You don’t have to keep going over the same information with him. Once you give it to him, he has it and then you go on to something else. He has good retention, good instincts, and I think he understands football.
“He’s played a lot of different positions — linebacker, defensive end, off-the-ball linebacker, on-the-ball linebacker, he’s played a number of spots in the kicking game. I think he’s capable of having some versatility and helping us in different roles. We’ll see how all that turns out, but I’d say I’ve been impressed with him personally — his intelligence, his communication, just being alert on everything.”
On Tuesday, the City Attorney’s Office said it declined to pursue charges because of “conflicting and inconsistent information.” It also said Elliott was cooperative in the investigation and offered affidavits and photographs to support his case.
“I feel like there has been some damages done,” Elliott said of his reputation, “but the past is the past. I’m focused on now.”
Elliott, the fourth player taken in the NFL draft, said he wanted to focus on Week 1 opponent the New York Giants.
Elliott remains under review by the NFL. A player does not need to be formally charged with a crime to be punished under the league’s personal conduct policy.
Last month, Elliott found himself in the news for another reason. He visited a legal marijuana dispensary in Seattle before the team’s preseason game against the Seahawks, and afterward, owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett criticized the rookie’s decision.
The Dallas Morning News, meanwhile, obtained court documents that revealed an exchange of texts messages between Elliott and the former girlfriend regarding whether he thought he might fail a drug test.