For the first time all season, the Cleveland Browns will have what they envisioned on the defensive line in the off season. Both Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor will be together once again. Add Frostee Rucker and Jabaal Sheard to the mix and havoc can be created for Tony Romo. What exactly does a healthy Rubin bring to the table?
Rubin is the veteran presence and glue that binds together the young defensive line. Every year, no. 71 makes a strong case for himself with Pro Bowl considerations. Rubin is easily one of the most underrated players in the NFL. The problem this season has been staying healthy. The big defensive tackle has missed most of the last four contests. Against the New York Giants, Rubin suffered a painful calf injury.
Through basically five games, Rubin has 17 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. On and off the field, Rubin has been a mentor for Cleveland’s rookies John Hughes and Billy Winn. Rubin, the former sixth round pick just flat out makes the Browns a better defensive team when on the field.
Getting the veteran lineman back out on the playing field will only benefit others. When talking about he and Taylor being out there together again, Rubin had this to say, “We’re both dominant. If I’m making a play, he’s making a play and vice versa. We’re just chipping away, trying to get back out there 100 percent. When we do get out there, it’s gonna be something nice.” Sheard, who has had a mediocre year so far, could benefit greatly from having both Rubin and Taylor back together. One, if not both of the defensive tackles are going to call for double teams which should free up the edges for Sheard and Rucker. Although listed as questionable, all indications are that Rubin is suiting up and playing tomorrow.
As the Browns prepare for the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday, it will be nice to see both Rubin and Taylor lined up next to each other come game time. Heading in to week eleven, Cleveland is as healthy as they have been in a long time. Now, if the Browns could only figure out how to win.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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