The 23-year-old had struggled to find consistent form and combined with the incredible rise of the Crows to a competition powerhouse, inconsistency wasn't tolerated.
Through form and injury, he only managed six AFL games last year after being recalled to the senior side three times.
Otten admitted to AFL.com.au he lost sight of his goal at times during training, but through hard work, he was able to turn his career around.
"I really just put my head down and bum up," Otten said.
"I was sick of getting dropped and sick of getting left out of the team.
"I didn't just want to go through the motions of training, I wanted to stand out a bit and get back to what I wanted to do best, which was be good aerially.
"You can go through the motions a little bit sometimes, but I really just wanted to stand out, catch the coach's eye and get into that side for round one.
"I knew if I got in the side and got another chance, I wouldn't let it slip this time."
The talented defender was named in Adelaide's round one side, has played in each game since and kept his promise of making the opportunity count.
He's been one of the club's best in 2013, using his outstanding ability to read the ball in flight.
Along with upping his work-rate at training, Otten said the key to his revival this year was a changed philosophy.
Believing his position in the side was constantly under threat helped him concentrate on what he truly wanted.
"Every game I play this year I'm fighting for my spot – that's the way I've attacked it and that's been a catalyst for this year," he said.
"I was sick of missing out on the success the boys were having last year … I want to be part of that and it drove me a lot.
"I don't want to let it slip again and get out of the side like I did last year."
The running defender was told to increase his offensive game over the pre-season, with the club concerned about a glut of "lock-down" players in the back six.
He did, and is now also considered a genuine option in the absence of key forward's Taylor Walker and Lewis Johnston.
Otten booted three goals when coach Brenton Sanderson sent him into attack against Carlton in round five and the coach has flagged a similar move in future.
While he would not be drawn into nominating an easier position – forward or defence – Otten said he was fine with being used as a forward.
His defensive background helped him deal with defenders as a forward and he said playing in attack would help him at the other end of the ground too.
But if Sanderson does intend to use Otten as a forward target, he'd better give prior warning.
"I might have to work on the goalkicking before I venture down there again," Otten joked.
Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry