Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett 'just focused on getting better,' not QB1 announcement

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin remains mum on his starting quarterback situation, at least publicly.

If rookie Kenny Pickett knows whether it'll be him or Mitchell Trubisky under center in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals, he isn't saying -- and isn't particularly worried about it at this point.

"I am just focused on getting better," Pickett said this week, via the team's official website. "Still learning a lot of things, getting my first true game plan going into Cincinnati. So, a lot of things I am learning, taking it all in stride and enjoying it."

The prevailing thought suggests Trubisky will get the starting nod to open the season. The veteran signed this offseason as the starter and hasn't done anything to lose the gig. He performed admirably in the preseason finale against Detroit even as his offensive line crumbled each snap.

Pickett shined in the preseason, as well, but not likely enough to leapfrog Trubisky at this stage. The rookie is simply focusing on stacking positive days whether or not he's named the starter.

"All the positives that I built on from minicamp, OTAs, into camp and the preseason games," Pickett said. "I thought I continued to get better. I just want to build off of that going into the season now."

Before the preseason, Pickett was well behind Trubisky, but the Pitt product flashed against backups, and his mobility could be a boost behind a woeful offensive line. Pickett said he learned a whole heap through the preseason action.

"Practice is incredibly important, but game reps, you can't duplicate those in practice," Pickett said. "Having those games reps under my belt heading into the season I think, is incredibly important."

Those preseason reps pulled Pickett closer to Trubisky in the race for the starting gig. And if the rookie doesn't win the Week 1 job, his performance in the exhibition games will give Tomlin confidence to turn to him if the veteran struggles at any point this season.

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