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QB harmony, DB intrigue and the 'Badger connection'

What we learned during the first week of OTAs …

ALL FOR ONE: The return of Mason Rudolph on a one-year deal kept last season's quarterbacks room in tact, and starter Kenny Pickett seemingly couldn't be happier about that.

"Yeah, man, it's awesome," Pickett replied after the media broaching the subject brought a wide smile to the second-year quarterback's face. "I spend every day with those guys. It's crazy how much time we spend together.

"We got really close over just one year."

Backup Mitch Trubisky went as far as to say his relationship with Pickett was "huge" in Trubisky ultimately agreeing to a two-year contract extension with the Steelers.

"Me and Kenny have gotten so close, I just want to help him in any way I can," Trubisky emphasized. "We have a really great quarterback room. We love having Mason back, too, so we're gonna have a lot of fun and we're gonna get to work.

"Anything I can be for Kenny, a sound board, extra coach, extra eyes on the field, I'm gonna be there for him and he knows that. I think that's also why they wanted to have me back and be in that role and help any way I can, so I'm excited about it."

Competing for the same job doesn't prevent the quarterbacks from supporting one another, Trubisky insisted.

"It's just being transparent and just being yourself," he maintained. "It's just a great dynamic on this team.

"When you just have that chemistry the honest conversations are easier to have and we just go in there and be ourselves. We all want the same thing, the Pittsburgh Steelers to win and for ourselves to be the best we can be. So we just come in here and compete and help each other to a common goal.

"I think that's just who I am. I love this game. It's always team-first for me and whatever you can do to help the team and be a part of a great quarterback room, it means a lot to me. And If I was in the No. 1 spot I'd want those other guys to do the same thing for me and I know they would. You just continue to work and get better the best you can and everything will work out the right way."

TO BE DETERMINED: There have been significant deletions and additions in the secondary, but where the players are lining up during football-in-shorts sessions might not necessarily represent where they'll be playing once the ball's kicked off on Sept. 10th against San Francisco and beyond.

Veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, signed as a free agent from Minnesota, is looking forward to seeing how it all might unfold.

"Right now they got me at corner," Peterson noted. "But Coach (Mike) Tomlin did tell me he has aspirations of kinda moving me all over the place.

"That didn't happen just yet but I can't wait to see that happen."

NO SECOND THOUGHTS: Guard Isaac Seumalo played in the Super Bowl with the Eagles last season but has no concerns about signing on with a team that failed to reach the playoffs a season ago.

"This is a Super Bowl organization, so there's no doubting about that," Seumalo maintained. "The team is solid. The defense is always solid, I can attest to that last year regardless of the score. Offensive line, we're our own unit and gotta do what we gotta do.

"As long as we keep Pickett up and healthy we'll be straight."

PICKING UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF: Wisconsin outside linebacker Nick Herbig mentioned upon being drafted on the fourth round back in April how T.J. Watt had already "taken me under his wing."

Turns out that's been an ongoing process that predates Herbig's association with the Steelers.

"We've had many messages back and forth over the last two years," Watt acknowledged. "I've been able to see him develop and grow as a pass rusher so I'm excited to have him in the room.

"I think he ended up reaching out to me. The outside linebackers coach there at some point probably reached out to me or we got connected through Instagram. We've been sending videos back and forth on how to do certain moves and just always pickin' our brain on pass rush."

Watt played at Wisconsin, as did Herbig and second-round defensive tackle Keeanu Benton and incumbent Steelers defensive tackle Isaiahh Loudermilk.

"It's all the same, that's why the Badger connection, it's a very similar defense," Watt explained. "It's basically just plug in the defense into Rosetta Stone and figure out the translation for this defense."