Conkin agreed to a contract worth $42 million, with $30 million of that fully guaranteed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The Browns offensive line ranked in the bottom half of the league in terms of pass-protection last season, with quarterback Baker Mayfield being sacked 40 times — the seventh most in the NFL.
However, the other obvious boon for the offense will also come in the run game, where Nick Chubb leads the way. Chubb came up just short of the rushing title last season, watching Derrick Henry surge by him with a 211-yard performance in the season finale. Chubb totaled just 86 yards over the final two weeks, finishing the year with 1,494 yards and eight touchdowns.
Henry collected 1,540 on the ground and went on to tear up the playoffs with two games over 180 yards, leading the Titans to the AFC Championship. Helping blow open holes for Henry was Conklin, who hopes to do the same in Cleveland for Chubb.
“To be able to switch teams and have a guy who’s just as good [as Henry] and be able to have an opportunity to go win that record again next year, that’s my goal,” Conklin said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “I want to help us get there and help Chubb reach that goal and win that.”
Jack Conklin Excited to Run Kevin Stefanski’s Offense
New Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski will run a zone blocking scheme, similar to what the Vikings ran last season when he was the offensive coordinator. With Stefanski calling the shots, the Vikings didn’t shy away from pounding the ball, racking up the third most rushing attempts in the league last year.
“I love running the ball,” Conklin said, per the Browns official site. “That’s my favorite thing to do — put it to the defense. I think that’s really by running it. That’s when you break their back. There’s not a better feeling than when you’re putting defenders on their back and you can see the quit in them by the time the fourth quarter comes around.”
“The great thing with the zone offense is that you can still get those aspects of the run with the pass. Once you start getting that run going, your play action is going to look exactly the same as the runs. That’s when you start getting those bombs. That’s when you start getting those 70-yard downfield passes, and you get these wide-open receivers.”
Conklin: Browns Roster Up There With the Best
The Browns have been the offseason sweethearts of the NFL the past few years, but have failed to turn that into much success on the field. Last year’s 6-10 campaign after a hype-filled offseason was evidence of that.
However, Conklin believes the Browns can put it all together, which is what ultimately landed him in Cleveland.
“You look at the roster, and it looks fantastic,” Conklin said on a conference call. “It is the NFL. You have great guys on every team. I believe this team has a roster that is up there with the best. It was an easy choice. You look at the team, and you can see the guys and you can see the playmakers.”