You wanted Roosevelt Nix? You’ve got Roosevelt Nix. Kicking off what I’m now going to call #FilmRoomFriday, a term I’m confident won’t catch on, I’m going to take a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ second-year fullback, who has rightfully become a fan favorite over the past two years, and his contributions to the team’s victory over the Dolphins on Sunday.
Let’s start at the close of the first quarter. On a first-down run, the Steelers trotted out the 22 personnel, including an extra lineman. With the Dolphins showing eight in the box, the line did its part in creating an alley between left guard and center, but with two rushers ready to pounce. Nix took out the first one through the hole, and Bell’s false cut outside took care of the second, for a 15-yard run.
A couple of plays later, still running out of the 22 personnel, the center and left guard worked a double team, with Nix taking on the defender leaking through the hole. That allowed Bell to cut back the run to the far gap, working his way forward for five yards.
Late in the second quarter, this time out of a 21 look, with Nix lined up to the right, the Steelers had one of their few negative rushes on the day—actually, technically, a rush for no gain—allowing a couple of free rushers on the play. Nix picked off the nearest defender, which allowed Bell to try to bounce the run outside, but the end made a nice play to shed his block and make the tackle at the line of scrimmage.
On the next snap, the offense was given a free play when a member of the defense jumped offsides, which allowed them to take a deep shot down the field. Nix was ready and adaptable in a hurry, peeling out to the perimeter and picking off the blitzing defensive back to provide a clean pocket that allowed the throw to get off.
It’s probably pretty clear to most people who follow this site how and why Nix has become a fan favorite, not just among those who follow the team, but also the writers here. His passion for the game is transparent in his play, which is not always something that is immediately obvious on tape. But every team can use a few players like that, and they have one in Nix.