Tag:Ahtyba Rubin
Posted on: April 17, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2011 3:39 pm

Offseason Checkup: Cleveland Browns

Posted by Andy Benoit

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups

Another year turned into another rebuilding season for the Browns (it turned out to be the last of three in Eric Mangini’s tenure). Injuries rocked all three mistake-prone quarterbacks (Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace and third-round rookie Colt McCoy, who performed OK but was limited to a cliff-noted playbook).

It maybe wouldn’t have mattered anyway, given the paucity of quality receiving options (No. 1 wideout Mohammad Massaquoi improved just enough to pass for being a low-end No. 2, while tight end Ben Watson was the go-to guy by default).

Defensively, the young secondary at times seemed overburdened by the volume of sub-packages in Rob Ryan’s complex system. But often, Ryan’s scheme compensated for shabby pass-rushing resources. The Browns were the only team not to give up 30 points in any of their first 15 games. Still, that wasn’t enough to save Ryan from the coaching staff overhaul in January.

Defensive scheme

The task of installing a 4-3 scheme is substantial, especially given this team’s prior commitment to the 3-4.

Linebackers Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita and nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin (who will now play more one-gap techniques) are the only players from last year’s team who are truly equipped to operate in a 4-3.

And Gocong never did blossom in Philadelphia’s 4-3. Restocking the defensive line will be the biggest challenge.

1. Defensive End
Marcus Benard is a fantastic athlete who, as an outside linebacker, often played bigger than his 256-pound size suggested. That doesn’t mean the undrafted third-year pro is ready to start – especially given that he’ll be learning how to play with his hand in the dirt. Jayme Mitchell, another undrafted guy, is penciled in on the other side. What does this tell you? The Browns need at least three, and maybe four, defensive ends.

2. Defensive Tackle
Rubin can be an adequate two-down player, even if he’s not a true Pat Williams-like clogger. Brian Schaefering, however, does not get off blocks well enough to play inside. Even if he did, the Browns would still need more one-gap quickness here.

3. Wide Receiver
Very few quarterbacks could succeed with Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey and Joshua Cribbs as their top four wideouts. Massaquoi is not dynamic enough to create on his own; Robiskie has barely seen the field his first two seasons; Stuckey’s quickness is impressive but best suited for the slot, while Cribbs is simply a gadget player.

Let’s hope new head coach Pat Shurmur is a patient man. The defense that Dick Jauron is installing is not complicated schematically, but it will take at least two years to accumulate the front seven personnel needed to run it.

That’s about how long the offense will take to develop if Shurmur decides that Colt McCoy is indeed the long-term solution for his West Coast system. A third straight 5-11 season seems likely.

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Posted on: January 21, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 5:37 pm

Report: Jauron to be Browns defensive coordinator

Dick Jauron will be Cleveland's next defensive coordinator (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPODATED 5:40 p.m. EST: The Browns have announced the hiring of Jauron as defensive coordinator. It's official.


UPDATED (1:58 p.m.): New Browns coach Pat Shurmur declined to confirm Jauron's hiring on today's edition of ProFootbalTalk Live.

Said Shurmur: “I think it will become public and official from the Browns’ side of things very quickly. But obviously Dick’s a very, very well-respected guy in the profession, a guy that I’ve known for a long, long time. So I think that will be public at some point - the direction we’re gonna go.”

So, yeah, it seems pretty clear that Jauron is the guy.


Though the deal probably won’t happen today, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot is reporting that the Browns will hire former Bills and Bears head coach Dick Jauron as Cleveland’s new defensive coordinator.

Jauron had been the Eagles secondary coach, but he had begun drawing interest from a number of teams in need of a defensive coordinator. Cabot’s source, though, implied that Jauron’s familiarity with Browns team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert pushed him toward Cleveland.

So, how will this affect the Browns defense, assuming Jauron actually does replace Rob Ryan?

As pointed out by Browns Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin, who calls the Jauron hiring a “minor coup,” the Browns now likely will switch to a 4-3 defense from the 3-4.

Writes Gitlin, “Since NT Ahtyba Rubin is the only effective DL remaining and there is little athleticism at LB, look for a personnel overhaul in those units.”

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:18 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2010 2:20 pm

Shaun Rogers might have to go on PUP

S. Rogers might have to start the season on the PUP list (Getty) Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Cleveland NT Shaun Rogers hasn’t been cleared to practice after offseason ankle surgery, and according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the team hasn’t decided whether to put him on the Physically Unable to Play list to open the year.

“I don't want to put any definitive timeline on it,” coach Eric Mangini said. “We'll see where it is."

If Rogers starts on the PUP list, he’d be out for at least six weeks. Rogers could also be suspended by the NFL for his arrest in April on gun charges, but if he’s on the injured list, he would serve that suspension at the same time.

So, what happens if Shaun Rogers isn’t ready to play at the start of the season? Considering the 3-4 defense is built around the 6-foot-4, 350-pounder, it wouldn’t be a positive development.

Ahtyba Rubin most likely would take Rogers’ spot in the middle of the defensive line. Like Rogers, Rubin is a solid run-stuffer who has stamina issues. But he doesn’t dominate double-teams like Rogers. Still, after Rogers broke his ankle last year, the Browns run defense seemed to improve with Rubin getting the playing time.

That’s not me saying Rubin is a better player than Rogers, because he’s most definitely not. I’m just saying an overweight Rogers doesn’t help his team quite as much as some people might think. Also, Rubin might be in line for more playing time at NT anyway, because the Browns have talked about having Rogers line up in the DE spot.

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Posted on: August 4, 2010 8:40 pm

Shaun Rogers's health could be a problem

Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote today:

Nose tackle Shaun Rogers (who suffered a serious leg injury late last season), who still hasn't passed his physical, did some work on blocking sleds with a trainer nearby. It appeared a sign of progress that Rogers might soon come off PUP and rejoin his teammates. But coach Eric Mangini threw water on that thought when he said, "I don't think we're close right now. I think we're a little ways away."

Rogers’s absence is critical. The Browns are prepared to go with Ahtyba Rubin at nose tackle, but Rogers’s presence would still be sorely missed on the edges. Starting ends Kenyon Coleman and Robaire Smith were both underwhelming last season. (The former hasn’t shown the same level as energy that he did as a backup for the Cowboys and Jets, and the latter is in his 30’s and wore down late in the schedule).

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 21, 2010 9:04 am

Position Change for Shaun Rogers?

There are thoughts in Cleveland about moving Shaun Rogers from nose tackle to defensive end. The 350-pounder has spent the entire offseason rehabbing after last December’s ankle/leg surgery. Rogers, who rarely speaks to reporters, hasn’t made any public comments since his airport gun arrest in April.

The thinking behind the position change is that Rogers’s backup, Ahtyba Rubin, played well down the stretch last season and needs to see more snaps. Rubin had trouble holding ground early in 2009, but by season’s end he’d become somewhat of an anchor. He doesn’t have first-class initial quickness or the brute force to penetrate a backfield; Rogers’s dominance inside – and the attention it commands – has done wonders for Cleveland’s other defensive linemen.

If moved to end, Rogers would likely play ahead of 11th-year veteran Robaire Smith, who no longer has the stamina to be an effective starter for all 16 games

--Andy Benoit

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