Steelers Now’s Ron Lippock spoke with Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix. Nix is entering his fifth season as the Steelers primary fullback, as well as being a top special teams contributor. Nix is a native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio — a suburb of Columbus — and is a Kent State alum.
First, how did the Rosie Nix Foundation start? What made you decide to launch that this year?
Well, I started it officially this year. I’ve been putting on camps for the past two years. This will be our third year. I always tried to give back. I felt the need to do that. I understand the need people have for that kind of help and support.
I really felt it was ready to go this year and be official. The sponsors wanted to be able to help out more and told us we should go bigger. So we went legal, started up the 501(c)(3). Like I said, we’ve been putting on the camp already for a couple of years so we filed the paperwork and are ready to go.
It’s Columbus-based. It’s an opportunity for me to give back and use this platform to show why it’s important to give back to people.
Do you think athletes get enough attention and credit for doing this kind of work? Not that you’re doing it for that reason, but still?
It’s 2019, the media is always looking for a story — positive or negative. If there’s not one, they’ll make one up. It is what it is. I’m not doing it for the attention. I’m doing it out of the kindness of my heart. It doesn’t matter if they talk about it. I do it because I want to. And I know the right people to talk to to publicize it and get the word out.
You came to Pittsburgh as a free agent. Why choose Pittsburgh? And was the transition to fullback from defensive player a difficult one to accept?
I didn’t really choose Pittsburgh. They were the only ones to work me out. I didn’t think about the change really. I knew it was the most likely way for me to make a team. It’s what I had to do so you just do it.
How did you make the adjustment so successfully?
My coach in Atlanta. It started there and he really took the time to teach me the position. He taught me to be a student of the game and that helped me out.
Does that chip and worry that comes with being an undrafted free agent ever leave you as a player?
No player has the same story coming into the NFL, whether they’re a first round guy or an undrafted free agent. I’ve always played the game the same way. I’ve always played like this. So, if I play with a chip on my shoulder, that’s just part of my game. That’s how I’ve always been.
That seems to carry over to special teams. What makes you such a standout on special teams?
It has a lot to do with that defensive mindset. And my body type. I’m blessed with athletic ability — the speed I have combined with my body makeup.
You gotta have the mindset, too. That’s always been in my head. That’s how I came into the league. I knew I needed to excel on special teams and that’s never left me.
I wanted to ask you about your use of social media. You seem to stay above the fray on social media. How do you manage to do so and stay out of social media issues?
I just don’t care, to be honest. I use social media to benefit my foundation now. But other than that, I’ve gone off social media and if I want to, I can do it again. It just doesn’t mean that much to me. The comments and memes don’t matter to me.
Did you have any mentors that help shaped the way you’ve approached the game, on or off the field?
I think there’s something special in every person I know and I can find something in everyone to help me. They’ve been successful and there’s something I can take away from everyone who’s had success. I’m open to learning on and off the field. I try to learn from all of my experiences.
Now you’re becoming a mentor to young guys How do you approach that role as a veteran player?
I just try to do everything in the right way. Set a good example for people so they can understand the right way to do things. That’s really it. It’s part of what we do every day.
Looking at your time in Pittsburgh so far, what experiences stand out most to you and why?
I think the thing I’ll remember most is how much I appreciate all of the guys I am teammates with every week. That’s the best part, those locker room conversations. Playing the game is special, but your teammates make it worthwhile.
Any specific memories stand out – any pranks?
Well, no one’s pranked me. But I remember someone filled DeAngelo Williams’ room full of balloons once. Stuff like that.
Any thoughts on the upcoming season? Personal goals you want to achieve?
The ultimate goal is to go back to work and bring home number seven. That would be great if we could get that done. A lot of people have counted us out. I’d love to be able to bring back number seven to Pittsburgh.
Report: Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey Has Told Teammates He’ll Retire
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has told teammates that he will retire, according to a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Former Steelers guard Ramon Foster, now of DK Pittsburgh Sports, reported on Jan. 12 that Pouncey was “50-50” on whether he would return for the 2021 season.
The 31-year-old Pouncey just finished his 11th season in the NFL, all of which have been with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has one year remaining on his contract, which would pay him $14.475 million if he returns. Just $6.475 million of that is guaranteed. The Steelers would save $8 million in cap space if he retires.
Pouncey made the Pro Bowl for the ninth time in 2020 and has also been a five-time Associated Press All-Pro. He was also a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team, largely giving him Hall of Fame credentials.\
JuJu Smith-Schuster Asks Fans to Give him Space
JuJu Smith-Schuster is experiencing the negative side effect of living so much of his personal life in the public eye. The Steelers receiver, who is looking for a new NFL contract, took to Instagram to ask fans to leave him alone.
This stems from allegations that fans are showing up to his family home in California while he is there. Obviously, fans have no right to show up unwelcome anywhere to stalk an an athlete or celebrity, but this is just another example of the polarization of Smith-Schuster’s career. While he’s received much criticism, most notably this past season, for his sometimes over-the-top behavior and seemingly prioritizing his brand at all times, he also has many avid supporters who would stop at nothing to defend one of their favorite players.
Smith-Schuster is set to be a free agent in March for the first time in his professional career. If the Steelers should try to bring back the receiver has become a hot debate among Pittsburgh fans, so much so Smith-Schuster himself addressed the situation during a live Twitch sessions with fans.
Even Smith-Schuster’s play on the field is often up for debate. He totaled 97 receptions, but for only 831 yards with an average of just 8.6 yards per catch, which is significantly lower than his average from past seasons, including 15.8 his rookie year and 13.1 in 2019.
When it comes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, it’s always best to just stay tuned.
Steelers’ Vance McDonald Reflects on Stiff Arm Moment, Relationship with Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers tight end Vance McDonald spoke to the media after officially announcing his retirement from the NFL. McDonald responded to a question about the play he’s most synonymous with by saying he embraces the famous stiff arm moment. He also detailed his interaction with Ben Roethlisberger when he told his quarterback he was planning to retire.