Nix flew under the radar during OTAs, minicamps and training camp, at least for those on the outside looking in.
“I think I have the ability to be a great player,” Nix said Tuesday. “It's just putting it on the field and letting everybody else see it.”
After he learned he had made the team, Nix sent a Tweet that read, “Cream Rises.” That's exactly what the father of his best friend, who coached him in football and basketball until he entered high school, told him after he went undrafted.
“I got hurt last season, but I can't use that as an excuse,” said Nix, who missed five games with a dislocated knee cap. “I thought I played good in college and good enough to get drafted. The simple fact is I didn't. I can't change that. It's out of my control. You can't lose confidence in your ability and your skill. Just keep pushing forward.
“That was the big thing my buddy's father told me when he said cream rises. He said, ‘Just because you didn't get drafted, don't think any less of your ability. Just because someone got drafted doesn't mean they're better than you. They saw something in them that they didn't see in you.' I came out here with that attitude and I worked hard. Fortunately I'm still on this team.”
Nix didn't know that he had survived the cut until he reported to a team meeting late Friday afternoon.
“I guess I was relieved,” he said. “It was a real stressful day, just waiting around for a call, and I didn't get one. I'm blessed and thankful for that. I can't say I expected it, but I put my best on the film, and I've been playing my best out here. If that wasn't good enough, I left it all on the field for them.”
Back on track: After hitting a few bumps on his road back from offseason left knee surgery, punter Shane Lechler has rounded into shape and regained his Pro Bowl form in plenty of time for Monday's opener against San Diego.
“I was a little shaky against Detroit,” Lechler said. “It was hurting a little bit in the second half of that game. I was able to get through that and then went into the Seattle game feeling really good. Pretty sore the next day after the Astroturf stuff. Now, today, I hit the ball great. No symptoms afterwards. I think I'm on the right track.”
Lechler missed the first two exhibition games, but in the final two he averaged 47.9 yards on 12 punts with a long of 59.
Depth chart update: The Raiders released their latest depth chart Tuesday, and there no big surprises or changes. Center Stefen Wisniewski is still listed as the starter, ahead of Alex Parsons, despite missing the final three exhibition games with a calf injury. Tight end Brandon Myers, as expected, still tops the depth chart, ahead of Richard Gordon and third-stringer David Ausberry.
Rookie receiver Rod Streater, who led the team with 18 catches in the preseason, remained third string at one of the wide-out spots, behind Denarius Moore and backup Jacoby Ford. But with Moore (hamstring) and Ford (foot) both battling injuries, Streater could start against San Diego.
New cornerbacks Joselio Hanson and Phillip Adams were plugged in as second string; Hanson on the left side behind Ron Bartell and Adams on the right behind Shawntae Spencer. New linebacker Keenan Clayton is the top backup on the weak side behind rookie starter Miles Burris. New offensive tackle Willie Smith is listed as the top backup for starting left tackle Jared Veldheer.
Adams is listed as the third-team punt returner, behind Ford and Moore. Adams will likely handle those duties Monday night.
Taiwan Jones held onto the No. 2 spot at running back ahead of Mike Goodson, and he's listed as the No. 2 kick returner behind Ford. He could be busy returning kicks against San Diego. Coye Francies, another recent addition to the team, is listed as third string at right cornerback and at kick returner.
Extra points: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski was excused from practice for personal reasons. … Ford and Moore missed practice again. … The Raiders are off Wednesday and return to practice Thursday morning. … Wide receiver Juron Criner practiced again but was still hobbling because of an ankle injury he suffered at Seattle.
Follow Raiders reporter Eric Gilmore on Twitter: @CBSSportsNFLOAK.