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Dependable Rubin a quiet leader

Posted Oct 6, 2012

Fifth-year pro Ahtyba Rubin has served as an anchor in the middle of the Browns’ defensive line for the past three seasons.

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin is a quiet player, one who lets his playing do his talking.

Rubin has registered 15 total tackles, 12 solo stops and one sack for a four-yard loss through the first four games of the 2012 regular season.

For his production on the field and effort both in the locker and meeting rooms, the team’s three permanent captains -- kicker Phil Dawson, middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, and five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas -- selected Rubin as the team’s fourth captain for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

“He’s the kind of guy, as a coach, that you appreciate,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “I talked to the players (Wednesday) and it’s about finding 53 guys and 20-some coaches that are dependable and I think you can say that about him.

“He’s very dependable. He’s not late for anything; he busts his tail; he practices; he plays and he does all the things that you want. The other players that are maybe struggling to get to that point, you say, ‘Hey, watch this guy do it.’ If that’s the definition of a throwback, then, maybe so.”

Since the Browns chose Rubin in the sixth-round of the 2008 NFL Draft, he has played in 64 games and made 41 starts. He has registered 238 total tackles and eight sacks.

During the 2011 season, Rubin set new career highs with 83 total tackles, five sacks for 36.5 lost yards and started all 16 games for the second consecutive year.

“Everybody looks up to him; everybody respects him,” defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said of Rubin. “He’s probably assumed more of a (leadership) role because that group has young guys that we just got and they all have to admire him. You can’t watch him play and watch him work and prepare and not admire this player. He plays a huge role for us and he’s a terrific player on top of all of that.”

Shurmur and Jauron have recognized Rubin’s ability to lead by example and Shurmur recalled a story of Rubin taking a vocal approach in the form of a letter to his teammates during the organized team activities in the summer.

“Some new players came in and around their area after practice, things got a little sloppy,” Shurmur said. “As I was making my swing through the locker room later in the day, I saw on each person’s chair a printed-off sheet that said, ‘Don’t be a pig. Take care of your area.’ My first reaction was it was (the equipment) crew that did it. Come to find out, it was Rubin that did that, which was a little thing, but he’s a guy that leads by example. He thinks about things and understands what’s important. In his mind, it was important to give a few guys a reminder. I appreciate that about him.”