Reactions to the return of Sean Spence

Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE

The Steelers' 2012 third-round draft pick has borderline unparalleled support from within Steeler Nation, partially because we love comeback stories, partially because the Nation needs something to root for in a dismal season. He's earned all of it, though, if he is able to get back on the field.

The Steelers third round pick in 2012 has yet to dress for a regular season game. Sean Spence turned rehabilitation into honor, quickly becoming a hero in Steeler Nation not for what he's done on the football field, but for what he might do.

It's what he represents now. The team was already playing almost as if it had two first-round picks in 2013 - 2013 top choice Jarvis Jones, and David DeCastro, who only played three games in 2012 due to a knee injury.

The possible addition of Spence would add another third round rookie, joining wide receiver Markus Wheaton.

Jones and DeCastro have both looked like rookies during the 2013 season, and understandably so. There's an adjustment period even high-level players need to endure to become exceptional players. Fans will be excited anyway.

He'll receive the support of Steeler Nation anyway. Wearing No. 51 and playing a position of need for a struggling team, fans can both enjoy his remarkable road to recovery as well as his unique mix of speed and awareness.

We want so badly to see a ready-made tackling machine as soon as he's taken out of the box. Some point out, fairly, that isn't likely to happen.

Still, maybe Steeler Nation simply needs something positive right now. Ripped by the national media for a defense that's "old and slow," but the reality being the younger players are the ones playing at that speed of uncertainty, adding a young player who's best attribute, before the injury, was his speed, fits the "backs-against-the-wall-so-come-out-with-your-best" cliche.

Or, maybe it's best boiled down simply, the optimism allowed to rule the day.

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