Danish OG Hjalte Froholdt excited for ‘great opportunity’ in 1st NFL start

By Anthony Poisal, Staff Writer

Hjalte Froholdt kept the Browns well-anchored on the right side of the offensive line last week against the Patriots.

When Pro Bowl RG Wyatt Teller exited the game in the second quarter with a calf injury, Froholdt stepped in to play his highest snap load since 2020. He didn’t allow a sack in 55 snaps and performed well in the run game, too, earning a 71.2 run-block grade from Pro Football Focus and 69.6 overall grade.

The showing was enough to secure Froholdt a start — the first of his career — in Week 7 in Baltimore. Teller will miss the game due to a calf injury, so Froholdt will stay put at right guard.

“It’s a great opportunity to come in and get my first start,” he said. “I’m surrounded by some great players, and Wyatt has helped me out throughout the week as well as in meetings. He’s given me tidbits and all that, so yeah, I feel really good about going there and competing.”

Initially a fourth-round pick by the Patriots in 2019, Froholdt has appeared in 20 career games and has mostly played as an extra special teams blocker after joining the Browns in 2021. He also took a goal-line snap as a fullback for the Browns on a Nick Chubb touchdown run in their Week 3 win over the Steeler and has sparingly served as an extra offensive blocker for the Browns this season.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski has seen Froholdt grow in his time with the team, which has included stints on both the active roster and practice squad.

“I think it’s a huge benefit to have him in there and has plenty of time in the meeting room and understands schematically what we’re doing,” Stefanski said. “I think he’s gotten better from a technical standpoint, too, and that’s just from him putting in the work.”

Before Sunday, Froholdt last played more than five offensive snaps in a game in Week 7 of 2020. He credited the talent around him — which includes a four-time Pro Bowler Joel Bitonio and 2020 All-Pro Jack Conklin — in helping him settle in immediately and feel comfortable when he entered the game last week.

“Everyone was like, ‘Calm down, we’re good,'” Froholdt said. “Just stick to the fundamentals. A lot of support from the guys with Jack right next to me, and of course (center Ethan Pocic) right next to me and Joel and Jed (Wills Jr.).”

Froholdt still has big shoes to fill for Teller, especially when it comes to paving rushing holes for Nick Chubb, who leads the NFL with 649 rushing yards. The Browns place a heavy emphasis on pull blocks, which is when linemen break out of their stance and run up field to attack opposing tacklers.

Froholdt said he’s up for the task of handling those assignments on a repetitive basis.

“They set the standard really, really high,” he said. “I’m just going to do my best getting in there. We do that every day in practice, and (offensive line coach Bill) Callahan is on us every day about getting the technique right and redoing it if it’s not right. I feel confident going into it.”

Read the original article in clevelandbrowns.com.

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