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Rubin continues to make a difference

Posted Dec 3, 2012

Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin feels the team is coming together down the stretch of the 2012 regular season.

Since defensive linemen Ahtyba Rubin (calf) and Phil Taylor (torn pectoral muscle) returned to the starting lineup after battling through injuries, the Cleveland Browns have limited the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders to a combined 203 yards rushing in their last three games.

Rubin started all 16 games next to Taylor last fall, but only three times has the duo been healthy enough to play together this season.

“There’s definitely a difference,” Rubin said. “You could tell with me and Taylor being back, I think we’re holding teams down to less rushing yards and we enjoy having each other in there. If I’m not making a play, he’s making a play and then, you have Juqua Parker, who’s making big sacks and helping out in that standpoint.”

Browns coach Pat Shurmur added, “Tackling the runner, controlling the running game or tackling a short pass, it’s team defense. Typically, that happens when you’re playing zone coverage where guys see the ball, they see what’s happening and they get to where they’re supposed to be. That’s just team defense and playing our defense better when you have more guys around because everybody’s got a gap. Everybody typically has to defeat a block and once that happens, when the ball defines itself, you go and get the ball. I think our guys are just doing that all better.”

Rubin, who made three tackles in a 20-17 win over Oakland on Sunday, credited the team’s success with its ability to come together.

“We’re definitely getting it together and we feel like we’re putting all the pieces together and we’re making everything come (together) and win games,” Rubin said. “I like the direction we’re going and we want to put another one together next week. We’re finally jelling. We’re finally putting all the pieces together, offensively and defensively. They were able to drive down the field and help us out at a crucial time and helped us win the game.”

Over the final four games of the season, Rubin and the Browns will see powerful runners in Jamaal Charles (Kansas City) and Alfred Morris (Washington), as well as a rematch with Rashard Mendenhall, Johnathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman of the Steelers. He is working to finish the season on a positive note by continuing to limit opposing running games.

“That’s what we’re pushing for, to definitely get in the playoff hunt and try to finish our year out on a good note,” Rubin said. “We’ve been close all year and putting these last couple games together would be huge, especially for us as a team and for the city.”

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