FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Newly acquired Barkevious Mingo called it a "huge culture shock" in going from the Cleveland Browns to the New England Patriots, before adding Monday, "You grow up, you play Madden, you're probably playing with the Patriots."
Mingo, 25, drew a large media crowd in the locker room after taking part in his first practice with the team since the trade last Thursday.
"Very exciting. This team is stacked at every position -- guys outside that can cover, interior guys that are holding gaps, and linebackers that are hitting those gaps and making big plays. I want to see if I can be a part of it," he said.
Mingo, who is donning Jerod Mayo's old No. 51, sensed that things were on the rise in Cleveland even though his career didn't take off as many projected when he was the No. 6 overall pick of the 2013 draft.
"I felt like the winning spirit was making its way into Cleveland with those new coaches, but it's definitely been established here for a long time," he said. "It's a fresh start and I'm ready to get going here."
Mingo has some notable connections with some new teammates, having played with defensive end Jabaal Sheard with the Browns in 2013 and 2014. He was also teammates with defensive tackle Anthony Johnson at Louisiana State, and worked out with linebacker Jamie Collins as both were entering the 2013 draft.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, Mingo called himself a linebacker, and he joins a large group of hybrid players on the New England roster, which includes Collins, Sheard, Rob Ninkovich, Shea McClellin, Dont'a Hightower and Chris Long, among others.
He said he was often asked to move in space, while also rushing the passer and covering tight ends at times in Cleveland. It sounds like he'll have a similar role in New England.
"He’s a versatile player. He has got a lot of skills. He has rushed, he has dropped, he has played on the line, he has played off the line, he has played in all phases of the kicking game, so we’ll see [how it fits]," coach Bill Belichick said.
Mingo has already made a strong impression in one area: His work ethic.
"He has put in a lot of extra hours already in the brief time that he has been here to try and absorb all of the information that we give him," Belichick said.