NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Day 1 of Titans training camp, No. 78 was back in the saddle at right tackle, and feeling like himself again.
Jack Conklin, who missed all the team's offseason work while recovering from a knee injury, said he's ready to claim his starting spot.
"I feel like it's my spot," Conklin said. "I know I can be an All-Pro offensive tackle and it's time to prove to everybody again who I am and what I can do. … I feel like I can be one of the top tackles in the league."
Conklin started nine games for the Titans in 2018 – he was inactive for the first four games while recovering from the torn ACL he suffered at the end of the 2017 season, and then he missed the final three games in 2018 after getting injured again in December, which forced him to Injured Reserve.
Dennis Kelly worked at left tackle in place of Taylor Lewan on Friday. Lewan is facing a four-game NFL suspension, which has forced the Titans to do some shuffling. Conklin said he's added a few pounds and is in the 312-pound range at the start of camp.
An All-Pro in his rookie season in 2016, Conklin has played in 41 games in his first three NFL seasons, including starts in all 16 games in each of his first two NFL seasons. But he spent most of this offseason in the training room, rehabbing the injury.
"It feels great to be back out there on the field working with the guys, and I couldn't be more excited," Conklin said. "My knee is feeling (good) – I have been working my ass off this offseason to get it back.
"It feels better than it's felt since before the surgery for sure. I am feeling way more confident in it – I feel like I can sit down and take on a bull rush. I feel strong – my legs feel stronger than they were before I tore the ACL. It feels good to be back."
Conklin said he focused on working on his pass sets this offseason.
He trained with former NFL offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley in Arizona leading up to training camp. He's also adjusting to playing alongside a new right guard – Kevin Pamphile.
"With injuries and growing older in the league, people start to pick up on stuff and you have to be able to adapt," Conklin said. "I worked really hard on being more efficient, staying more square and I think it's really going to pay off. I'm excited to be back, and I'm ready to go."