It appears Louis Nix III is not doing everything he can to be the best teammate he can be.
When asked on Friday about the progress of his rookie nose tackle, Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said his third-round pick has yet to develop as the player, and professional, he needs to be.
“It’s been OK,” O’Brien said. “He’s gotta get a lot better. You know, he’s a third-round draft pick, and he needs to make sure that he is working extremely hard every day to play pro football.”
O’Brien was following up on comments he made two weeks ago after Nix was activated off the active physically unable to perform (PUP) list following offseason knee surgery, when he said, basically, that Nix needed to improve in every facet of his game, including his work ethic.
Nix remains seemingly below expectations.
“We’re in the process of figuring out who the 53 man roster is,” O’Brien said. “Lot of those things we take into account. You have a guy there that’s a young guy, that really doesn’t totally get it yet, what it means to play in this league, and he has to come out and earn it.”
“He’s better than he was when he came out onto the field a couple of weeks ago against Atlanta, but he’s got a long way to go,” O’Brien said.
Nix, considered a first-round talent coming out of Notre Dame, fell to the Texans in the third round amid concerns about his durability — not his diligence. O’Brien’s comments, however, suggest health hasn’t been the only issue so far in Nix’s young career.
O’Brien’s comments all but cement nose tackle Jerrell Powe as the Week 1 starter. And while Nix avoided being placed on the inactive physically unable to perform (PUP) list and missing the first six games of the season, it appears he’s yet to prove himself — even as a rotational player behind Ricardo Mathews.
Nix played sparingly in last night’s 40-13 smashing by the San Francisco 49ers, and logged three tackles, giving him four in his first NFL preseason.
If he hopes to do anything in his first NFL regular season, he’ll first have to do the things O’Brien wants to see from him, and hasn’t seen yet.
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