SEATTLE (AP) The Seattle Seahawks addressed one of their biggest questions before the start of free agency by agreeing to terms on a new deal with defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin on Monday night.
The team confirmed the agreement with Rubin, but terms of the deal were not immediately available. Fox Sports reported it was a three-year deal.
Rubin was a priority signing for Seattle because of the uncertainty at defensive tackle. Fellow defensive tackle Brandon Mebane is also an unrestricted free agent and while younger players such as Jordan Hill have shown promise, there were no obvious replacements for a run-stuffing defensive tackle already on the roster.
Rubin came to Seattle last season on a one-year deal betting that he could parlay that performance into a longer-term agreement.
It worked as Rubin was a cog in the middle of Seattle's defensive line and a big reason the Seahawks led the NFL in run defense, giving up just 81.5 yards per game on the ground. Rubin constantly drew praise from coach Pete Carroll for his ability to hold blockers at the line of scrimmage and his pursuit of the play downfield.
Rubin was asked to play the ''three technique'' along Seattle's defensive front which often required him to cover two gaps of the offensive line. His ability to slow offensive linemen from getting up field kept linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright free to make tackles in the run game.
''It was really clear the first time we'd sat down and really talked about it. I asked him to try to be really stout as a three-technique at the line of scrimmage,'' Carroll said of Rubin during the season.
Rubin had 36 tackles and two sacks in his first season with the Seahawks. But his most memorable moment may have been his recovery of Adrian Peterson's fumble in the fourth quarter of the NFC wild-card game. Rubin made the recovery 13 yards past the line of scrimmage, and the turnover eventually led to the winning points for the Seahawks.
''He can run like deer. Like a big deer,'' Mebane said of Rubin during the season. ''He's a great player.''
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