It was a simple question about Joe Ostman and the hustle the Eagles’ defensive end showed in chasing down Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb after Chubb had stiff-armed Ostman to the ground less than 10 yards into what became a 54-yard run on Sunday.
As is sometimes the case with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, an answer can take a couple of left turns into other areas and last for, well, in the case of the Chubb question, about three minutes.
Now, some may not be aware of what happened on that 54-yard Chubb run. While Ostman, who was making his NFL debut, didn’t look good early in the run it was Ostman who got up and tracked Chubb down to make the tackle.
“Joe is one of the most relentless players I've ever been around,” said Schwartz. “The thing is for him, people generally only see it on the practice field. But everybody misses tackles. We actually missed four tackles on that play, but Joe had a missed tackle on the play and also had a tackle downfield and a tackle downfield for a defensive lineman is a huge, huge thing.”
Schwartz wasn’t done.
On the next play after Chubb’s run, on a first-and-goal at the 7, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield appeared to fumble. The play, however, was blown dead by the officials, ruling Mayfield’s forward progress had been stopped.
“They ruled it as progress was stopped right there, which philosophically, I don't agree with either,” said Schwartz. “I get it when a quarterback is in the pocket and his momentum is stopped and you want that quick whistle and things like that.
“But when you've got these quarterbacks that are runners and putting their head down trying to shove it up into the goal line and stuff like that, they are runners. They are running backs in just my personal opinion. I don't think they deserve quick whistles like that.”
After the quick whistle, Kareem Hunt went five yards for a touchdown, hurdling Jalen Mills’ tackling effort along the way, to take a 12-10 game to 19-12 with 9:21 to play.
Schwartz didn’t stop his answer on Chubb there, either.
The DC went right on praising Josh Sweat, who finished with six tackles, two for loss, and a sack.
“Josh Sweat made a lot of big plays down the field and played with a lot of energy and made some big hits on some plays,” said Schwartz. “We've seen it all year with guys like Derek Barnett. We've seen it from Brandon Graham. That's sort of part and parcel to what we do and a hallmark of those guys.”
Then it was back to Ostman before finishing with more Sweat.
“He felt incredibly terrible about it and felt responsible for the play and you have to point out to players, ‘Look, you weren't the only guy to miss on that play,’” said Schwartz. “That guy has made a lot of guys miss the whole year and has run a lot of stuff. You can't lose your confidence over one play. Dust yourself off, buckle your chinstrap again and let's go win the next snap.
“Or get off the ground and go tackle him down the field. Not just Joe on that play, but Josh Sweat I thought, just to single him out in particular, made a lot of those big plays down the field and we need to keep grinding on those things.”
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