The focus has changed for the Steelers this week with the regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals approaching.
And for rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, the change signifies something new for him, a whole new approach from the last three weeks of preseason football.
"A lot more goes into it," said Pickett. "Preseason games you are focused more on yourself than the opponent. Now were starting to get into Cincinnati and game planning and scheming, seeing what we want to do versus them, so it's definitely an adjustment."
But it's an adjustment that isn't an issue for the Steelers No. 1 draft pick. While he still doesn't know how the starting quarterback position is going to play out, one thing he does know is how far he has come since he was selected by the team, and what he still wants to do.
"All the positives that I built on from minicamp, OTAs, into camp and the preseason games," said Pickett. "I thought I continued to get better. I just want to build off of that going into the season now."
Pickett got significant playing time in the preseason, completing 29 of 36 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Every snap he took was a valuable one for him as he prepares for his first NFL season.
"Practice is incredibly important, but game reps, you can't duplicate those in practice," said Pickett. "Having those games reps under my belt heading into the season I think is incredibly important."
And while everyone is asking the question of who will be the starting quarterback, Pickett's mind is on one thing.
"I am just focused on getting better," said Pickett. "Still learning a lot of things, getting my first true game plan going into Cincinnati. So, a lot of things I am learning, talking it all in stride and enjoying it."
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