If you had to describe a fullback, I can’t think of a better phrase than what’s in the headline. And I can’t think of a better fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense than Roosevelt Nix. He’s an old-school player at a position going the way of the dinosaur. But that’s a testament to how good Nix has been as both a special teamer and a fullback. He discussed his mindset of the position speaking with the media yesterday.
“It’s football,” Nix said per the team website. “Everybody hits. I think everyone gets ready in their own way. I play a position where I hit people and people hit me. I don’t want to get hit so of course I’m going to bring it before they do.”
Nix was responding to the reporter’s comment of how teammates say they don’t have to see Nix to know it’s him. His energy and booming voice is all you need to hear.
Though Nix’s use on offense has waxed and waned, he could see a lot of playing time this weekend. Pittsburgh runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals better than they do probably anyone else in the NFL. Their 22 double, a power run with two lead blockers, is a staple concept and one that often relies on a fullback. In their previous Week 7 meeting, Nix logged 22 snaps. The Steelers rushed for 152 yards that day.
But to be fair, it’s an improved Bengals team this time around. And Nix isn’t taking them lightly.
“It’s Cincinnati. It’s a good team. They’re going to play us hard. Just like every time we play them…it’s Cincinnati versus Pittsburgh. It’s going to be a game.”
And the Bengals played the Steelers tough in that first meeting. The score was knotted at 14 into the second quarter and it took a lockdown second half defense, one that swarmed Andy Dalton, to pull away. These games are almost always close and there’s no reason to think differently this time around.
The Bengals are 5-6 and need this win to stay in the AFC playoff race. Pittsburgh is going to get their best. They’re going to need to be ready to hit back. Roosevelt Nix sure is.