Since 2011, only four interior defensive linemen in the NFL had made more tackles than Brandon Mebane before the Seahawks' nose tackle went down with a season-ending hamstring injury in November.
Ahtyba Rubin is one of them, and the former nose tackle for the Cleveland Browns is now a member of the Seahawks too, after signing with the team on Friday.
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With the signing of Ahtyba Rubin, the Seahawks now have two of the five interior linemen who have the most tackles in the NFL from the start of the 2011 season through nine games in the 2014 season – when nose tackle Brandon Mebane went down with a season-ending hamstring injury:
The 6-foot-2, 325-pound Rubin has 195 tackles over the past three-plus seasons – including a career-high 83 in 2011 – and 338 since being the Browns' sixth-round draft choice in 2008. That's the year after the Seahawks selected Mebane in the third round, and he has 177 tackles since 2011 – despite missing the final seven games last season – and 325 for his career.
"He's one of the most, if not the most, underrated defensive linemen in the NFL," former Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2013 – echoing a sentiment that Mebane's teammates have been offering about him for the past several seasons. "I've been around him from Day 1 here and he's had the same commitment. He's an extremely good player who simply hasn't had the notoriety throughout the league.
"He's the player you want to model your game after – the way he prepares, the way he practices. I try to emulate him and it's hard to do."
The Seahawks have been looking to add depth to their defensive line in free agency because Mebane is coming off a hamstring injury that required surgery and Kevin Williams, who stepped in at nose tackle for the final seven regular-season games as well as the playoffs, is a restricted free agent.
A look at the projected Seattle Seahawks roster for the 2015 season including new faces from free agency and trade. This gallery is updated with every offseason transaction.