The Titans have serious question marks with several players this season and one of them already appears to be answering that question in a big way.
4th year offensive tackle Jack Conklin looks like a completely different player. Last year Conklin struggled to come back from an ACL injury and just never looked like the same guy the Titans saw grab All-Pro honors as a rookie.
“Last year, not only having the knee, but having a concussion, I had to work thru some stuff, frankly mentally.” Conklin said, “Now I feel fresh, I’ve worked hard this off season and I’m having fun.”
That is obvious. There’s a smile on his face daily and a bounce to his step. That bounce could also be attributed to some serious time in the training room that has seen him transform the brawler they drafted out of Michigan State to a leaner more athletic player.
Wiith the Titans going to more zone blocking it requires more lateral movement from Conklin and he said the dramatic body change has helped him adapt to it, “I’ve changed my body, the weight a lot. I’m weighing 310-312 compared to maybe 320 my first year, but moving a lot better. I haven’t lost a ton of weight, but I feel a lot more elusive and athletic.”
Conklin did not practice in OTA’s or Mini-Camp so no one was sure just what they would get from him this season. The Titans declined his fifth year option making 2019 the final season of his rookie deal. So, it is not just a big one for the Titans, it is a big one for Jack Conklin.
So far, Conklin is answering every question.
“I’ve seen improvement since that first day that he came in here with the early guys. He seems to really enjoy playing football again. Battling through injuries, I think that’s tough. Nobody’s ever going to be 100 percent playing this game. Jack’s really started to improve”, said head coach Mike Vrabel.
The right side of the Titans offensive line was one of their bigger questions headed into camp, at least one piece of that is no longer a question.