Roosevelt Nix played his final year of college football at Kent State University in 2014. After going undrafted and not being signed as an undrafted free agent, Nix decided to begin his career outside of football. After spending a full year as a substitute teacher, Nix thought his football-playing days were over.
Roosevelt Nix Crucial Against Baltimore Ravens
“More than anything it taught me that there is life after football,” Nix told Lance Lysowski of DKPittsburghSports.com. “I got cut so I had to spend the whole year at the house. It was a real humbling situation to have it all snatched from me. You have to work to never have that feeling again.”
Finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to give the defensive lineman a shot at making the roster, except he’d be playing at fullback instead of defensive lineman. Nix was offered a spot on the roster in 2015 and has solidified himself as a crucial part of the Steelers offense and special teams.
Along with the big plays that Nix has been making on kick-off coverage, he’s also help lead Le’Veon Bell to another Pro Bowl season with his exceptional run blocking. Since becoming a full-time asset for the Steelers about halfway through the season, Nix has visibly improved the running game. After his stellar performance against the Buffalo Bills, Bell was awarded the ‘game ball’, which he then gave to his lead blocker, Nix. Bell’s appreciation shows that he’s definitely taken notice of the impact that Nix has made, and head coach Mike Tomlin has offered his praise as well.
In the Steelers most recent game against the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger showed his displeasure with Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict after he performed a dirty hit on Nix away from the play.
“We had a play-action pass, Rosie Nix runs to the flat, I step up in the pocket, the ball is out of my hands and I know this because I first saw it on the sideline on the pictures and then saw it on film, the ball is out of my hands down the middle of the field and Burfict hits Rosie. Like cleans his clock, knocks him to the ground on the sideline. Like, it’s not even close to the play, (he) should have been flagged 15 yards, (a) fine,” said Roethlisberger on Tuesday morning on 93.7 The Fan.
Obviously teams are beginning to take notice of the impact that Nix has been making. Burfict has at least taken notice, because why else would he decide to clean Nix’s clock away from the play? Oh yeah, because he’s Vontaze Burfict.
So far this season, the Baltimore Ravens have the NFL’s second-best run defense behind only the Dallas Cowboys. The Ravens have only allowed an average of 82.1 rushing yards per game and only 3.5 yards per rushing attempt. In the first matchup between the Steelers and Ravens, Le’Veon Bell was held to only 32 rushing yards on 14 carries, giving him an average of 2.3 yards per carry. Nix will need to pave the way for Bell in their second matchup if the Steelers have any hopes of defeating the Ravens.