Browns Mailbag

Browns Mailbag: Who is in line to play more before Mack Wilson returns?

Before we head to FirstEnergy Stadium for a dress rehearsal under the lights, we're tackling three of your questions on this beautiful Friday in Northeast Ohio.

How has Jack Conklin performed at camp with the new-look Browns offensive line? — Jack M., Defiance

Conklin has been the kind of solid addition the Browns expected when they signed him at the start of the offseason. He was a key part of one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in 2019 with the Titans, and Browns ball-carriers are excited to be running behind him and the rest of Cleveland's offensive line in 2020.

"It has a lot to do with the coaching, too, because (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan gets those guys going every day and he never lays off them," RB Nick Chubb said Thursday. "I think that is a big key, too. Other than that, the five guys up there are very talented. They do everything right. They are a great O-line and a great unit, and I love running behind them."

The Browns love Conklin the person, too, and that was a big reason why they were so excited to acquire him at the start of free agency. He's lived up to what they expected in that department.

"Certainly off the field, he fits what we want to be and what we stand for," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. "Fits in the offensive line room, which is not easy to do oftentimes. Playing style, he is a smart, tough football player. He can grind in the run game. He fights his tail off in the pass game. He has great length and size. Really excited about Jack."

Check out exclusive photos from Thursday's practice in Berea

With all of the injuries in the secondary, what is happening with A.J. Green? I read a lot about him when he was signed as an undrafted free agent but I have not read anything about him since camp started. — Philip S., Washington Court House

Green, one of the most coveted undrafted free agents in the NFL, had a solid first training camp with the Browns and received a hearty dose of opportunities to impress. The Browns have been hit hard by injuries in the secondary and, at times, have been without as many as four cornerbacks for a single practice. Green has stayed healthy and caught the eyes of the teammates around him.

"I feel like he has been having a great camp and making plays when he has been in there, making plays on ones or whoever he has been out there with," said Pro Bowl CB Denzel Ward. "He is definitely a guy I feel has stepped up."

As far as Green's prospects of making the 53-man roster, that's hard to identify at this stage of the process. Kevin Johnson, Greedy Williams and M.J. Stewart are all working their way back from injuries while Donovan Olumba, Robert Jackson and more have also impressed. The secondary, as a whole, has largely weathered the storm of this barrage of injuries. It's a testament to the depth Cleveland acquired throughout the offseason, and that very much includes Green.

Is linebacker Mack Wilson out for the entire season? If he is then who will replace him on the defense? — Mark P., Ottawa

Though he didn't reveal a specific timeline, Stefanski said earlier this week Wilson, who suffered a knee injury early in training camp, would not require surgery. He called that a "good development" for Wilson, who remains a part of the active roster.

As for Wilson's replacement, the Browns have tapped a variety of players, and it likely won't come into focus until the first depth chart is revealed leading up to the Ravens game. Third-round rookie Jacob Phillips has been given plenty of additional responsibilities and has seemingly made the most of them during Wilson's absence. The spotlight doesn't seem to be too bright for Phillips after leading national champion LSU in tackles during his final collegiate season.

"I definitely feel like I am ready," Phillips said earlier this week. "I got a whole lot of confidence from this training camp. Players that we have on offense and being able to compete against them every day and make plays against them is definitely giving me a whole lot of confidence that I can do it against every other team in the league because I know how special our team is here for the Browns. I am definitely ready, and actually, I can't wait for it."

Stefanski said Phillips has made strides but hasn't committed to him or anyone else, for that matter, taking over Wilson's spot.

Another player to consider is Tae Davis, who has been an absolute spark plug for the Browns on special teams since he joined the team midway through last season. This training camp has allowed Davis to take many more significant reps at linebacker, and he's received similar opportunities since Wilson's injury.

The linebacker room, as a whole, remains wide open heading into Saturday's roster cutdown. The Browns will have plenty of tough decisions throughout the roster, and linebacker definitely will be one of them.

Related Content

Advertising