Joseph Ossai: I have to go take a spot on Bengals defense

Cincinnati Bengals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Last season was a successful one for the Bengals, but not everyone on the team got to share in the fun of a run to the Super Bowl.

Third-round pick Joseph Ossai picked up a sack in the team’s first preseason game and seemed set for a role on the edge of the defense before tearing his meniscus the next week. The knee injury kept him out for the rest of the year and leaves him back at square one in his second year as a professional player.

Ossai said he won’t let the fact that things were lining up well for him last year make him complacent when it comes to winning a job this time around.

“You got to go take it,” Ossai said, via Paul Dehner of “That’s what I intend on doing. Nothing is going to be handed to me just because people expect things from you. Just because you had a good game, nothing is going to be handed. I still have to go out there and compete. We have a great room full of guys that can rush the passer. Hopefully, I’ll do enough and my coaches and teammates will trust me to have that position.”

Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard combined for 21.5 sacks for the Bengals last season, so Cincinnati managed to remain productive after Ossai went down last summer. If those two can keep producing with Ossai adding even more of a threat to offenses, the Bengals may be an even tougher draw in a deep AFC.

5 responses to “Joseph Ossai: I have to go take a spot on Bengals defense

  1. It was more than just a preseason sack. That dude was balling out the entire preseason. Of course, he might have looked great in camp because the Bengals o-line was so dreadful. There are also plenty of examples of guys being camp heroes and then turning out to be duds. But Ossai seems to be a legit talent, so hopefully he can add a bit of quality depth to that already decent Bengals pass rush.

  2. He had beaten out Hubbard in camp to line up on the side opposite from Hendrickson. And he wasn’t just making the Bengals OL look bad in practice – he did the same thing to the Bucs in a pre-season game, sacking Brady and getting a bunch of pressures. It’s a small sample, but very encouraging.

  3. I hope he’s as good as he looked last year in preseason, but it’s bonkers to me that so many Bengals fans were drinking the kool aid on this guy after such limited action.

  4. He actually hurt his knee in kickoff coverage in the preseason game. Anarumo admitted later they had big plans for Ossai last season so…. why were they having him work on Special Teams? Especially in preseason where you want to see the roster-bubble guys compete it makes no sense.

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