Ex-Sea­hawk Ru­bin’s ca­reer res­ur­rected with Bron­cos

Vancouver Sun - - SPORTS - PAT GRA­HAM

EN­GLE­WOOD, COLO. Ahtyba Ru­bin is ready to face Ezekiel El­liott if called upon Sun­day, just 48 hours af­ter join­ing the Den­ver Bron­cos to for­tify their de­fen­sive front.

“I def­i­nitely say I fit in a lit­tle more com­fort­ably” than most new play­ers would, Ru­bin said. “This is my 10th year so ... just put me in and I’m ready to go.”

Den­ver signed the six-foot-two, 310-pound Ru­bin to a one-year deal on Fri­day and placed de­fen­sive end Jared Crick on in­jured re­serve with a back in­jury that will re­quire surgery.

Ru­bin in­sisted he doesn’t need much time to get up to speed in or­der to help the Bron­cos con­tain El­liott and the Dal­las Cow­boys.

“I’m all in,” said Ru­bin, who ar­rived in town Thurs­day night. “If they want me to play, I’ll play.”

Bron­cos coach Vance Joseph said it’s “very pos­si­ble” that Ru­bin could see im­me­di­ate ac­tion. The team can al­ways use a few more ro­ta­tional line­men to join Derek Wolfe, Do­mata Peko, Tyrique Jar­rett and Shelby Har­ris.

Zach Kerr is ques­tion­able with a sprained knee.

As for the learn­ing curve, the schemes are noth­ing Ru­bin hasn’t dealt with over his 10-year ca­reer.

“I’m pretty sure I can come in here, get plugged in and con­trib­ute,” he said.

Ru­bin started ev­ery game the last two sea­sons in Seat­tle af­ter spend­ing his first seven sea­sons in Cleve­land. But the Sea­hawks re­leased him just be­fore the sea­son af­ter ac­quir­ing for­mer Jets line­man Shel­don Richard­son.

“It was my first time go­ing through a process like that — get­ting cut,” Ru­bin said. “I didn’t re­ally know what to ex­pect. I was just sit­ting and wait­ing and stay­ing in shape.”

Now, he’s go­ing from one elite de­fence in Seat­tle to another in Den­ver, as well as swap­ping one dom­i­nant pass-rush­ing team­mate in Michael Bennett for another in Von Miller.

“I’m happy to have a guy who’s played so much foot­ball at such a high level like that with a great de­fence,” Joseph said.

“Com­ing here and play­ing with us shouldn’t be a shock for him. That’s what he’s played with the last two years.”

The Bron­cos fig­ure to re­ceive a heavy dose of El­liott, whose sixgame sus­pen­sion over an al­leged do­mes­tic vi­o­lence case is on hold.

El­liott ran for 104 yards on 24 car­ries against the New York Gi­ants in the opener.

“They’re great in the run game. We’re re­ally go­ing to have to hun­ker down and make some­thing hap­pen,” Ru­bin said.

“I think we’ve got a good chance against the Cow­boys or any team that tries to run against us. This de­fence is a great de­fence. Any­thing you put in their face, they can def­i­nitely over­come it.

“I’m more than thrilled to come here, man, on a win­ning team — left another win­ning team to come to an even bet­ter team. I can’t do noth­ing but be ec­static.”

Crick, who is due $1.5 mil­lion this sea­son in the fi­nal year of his twoyear con­tract, started 15 games last sea­son, col­lect­ing 53 tack­les, three sacks, six pass breakups and two forced fum­bles.

He was carted off the prac­tice field mid­way through train­ing camp with a back in­jury and missed the re­main­der of the pre­sea­son and the Bron­cos’ opener on Mon­day night against the Charg­ers.

Crick re­turned to prac­tice Wed­nes­day, when Joseph said he had a “great prac­tice.”

But he was out Thurs­day, and the Bron­cos de­cided to place him on IR.

He’ll un­dergo surgery to fix an ail­ing disk in his back.

NOTES: Bron­cos OL Ron Leary (con­cus­sion) par­tic­i­pated in the walk-through Fri­day. “There are a cou­ple more things he has to pass be­fore he can play,” Joseph said . ... S Dar­ian Stewart (groin) re­mains ques­tion­able for Sun­day. “I’m hop­ing he con­tin­ues to progress and can play in the foot­ball game,” Joseph said . ... CB Brendan Lan­g­ley (knee) and RB Devon­tae Booker (wrist) are out.

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