Nose tackle Louis Nix III has a lot to prove.
He'll have ample opportunity this week when the Texans open up their 2015 preseason against San Francisco at NRG Stadium.
"Yeah, he should get a lot of snaps on Saturday," head coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday.
Nix has been working behind two-time Super Bowl winner and All-Pro Vince Wilfork. Growing up in Jacksonville, Nix was a self-professed Hurricanes fan who watched Wilfork during his playing days at the University of Miami. Nix now has a chance to learn first-hand from the 12-year veteran.
"He is a guy that knows a lot about the 3-4 defense," Nix said of Wilfork. "Obviously, he's been one of the best players at his position for a long time. It's great to have a guy like that because you can try your best to take in all the little things that he learned over the years and just put it in your game and that's what I'm trying to do."
Last year Nix battled knee issue, among other injuries. The rookie nose tackle had a disappointing 2014 campaign, inactive for the first three games before eventually landing on injured reserve so that he could undergo surgery.
This offseason, though, has been a bright spot for Nix. He improved his conditioning, working out in the Houston heat, and has rejoined his teammates on the practice field.
Fighting for a roster spot, Nix says it doesn't matter if he was a third-round draft pick for the Texans. Expectations are high and he wants to make the most of every opportunity he gets.
"Not everybody will play in this game but the guys that do play in the game, it's a chance to get on film," O'Brien said. "It's another chance to show us what you can do. It's another chance to make your case that you want to be part of this team, that you can make this team. I think anybody that plays in this game, it's important."
The Texans open the 2015 preseason against the 49ers at NRG Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on ABC KTRK-13 and SportsRadio 610.