Philadelphia Eagles second-year defensive end Joe Ostman has garnered a ton of hype recently… But why exactly?
The Philadelphia Eagles are a unique team. Like every team, they have their fair share of stars on board – but they tend to substitute lone stars for a stable handful of guys in a rotation. For example, Brandon Graham might be one of their top defensive ends, but Graham won’t have to play every single down for them on defense. Instead, they would allow Chris Long to get in on the action and be more than just a backup pass rusher.
On the other side, it’s the same deal. When they had a Pro Bowl caliber defensive end in Michael Bennett, the longtime veteran saw a limited amount of snaps due to a heavy dosage of Derek Barnett who doesn’t have nearly as much of a track record as Bennett. Not to mention, the Eagles tend to always find at least one contributor to their team out of the undrafted free agency pool.
Two years ago, they got a solid rotational running back in Corey Clement. And last season, their leading rusher was Josh Adams. This year, they could have another diamond in the rough from the newest class. However, everybody continues to revert back to last year’s class, and it’s not because of Josh Adams. Instead, there has been a ton of focus lately on former Central Michigan defensive end, Joe Ostman. Why is Ostman suddenly garnering a ton of buzz for the Birds?
Where is the hype coming from?
Around this time last year, Ostman chose to sign with the Eagles after failing to get drafted. Although he was offered opportunities that were likely better for him short-term, he picked the Eagles overall because of their track record with pass rushers. Ostman wasn’t just looking for his best opportunity to make a roster. Instead, he was looking for the best place for him to develop and work on his game. So when his time comes to step into a game, he’s ready for the challenge.
Ostman didn’t crack the Eagles’ final 53-man roster last year. He ended up spending his time on the practice squad. So why exactly is Ostman being talked about by the Eagles’ coaches and front office all of a sudden? Well, it apparently started in the playoffs last year. While the Eagles were preparing for their two biggest matchups against the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints, Ostman emulated their top pass rushers in practice and gave the Eagles’ offensive line a run for their money. And when asked about Ostman, Eagles’ tackle Lane Johnson had praised him.
“Joe is the hardest worker we’ve got here, no question, that guy gives more effort than anyone on the team.” Johnson wasn’t the only one to praise Ostman throughout the year as well. Head Coach Doug Pederson, Offensive Coordinator Mike Groh, and even General Manager Howie Roseman have highlighted Ostman as a true up and comer heading into 2019.
Obviously, Ostman has to live up to the hype in training camp and preseason in order to secure his spot on the roster, but so far he’s on the right track by getting everybody’s attention. He played the likings of Kahlil Mack and JJ Watt in practice last season, now can he make a name for Joe Ostman in Philly? Only time will tell, but the hype heading into the season feels very authentic.