Some fun facts and figures as the excitement surrounding the release of the 2009 schedule settles.
0 - Number of question marks surrounding Mike Tomlin's ability to lead this franchise to greatness heading into this coming season, which wasn't exactly the case a year ago despite the general aura of positivity and excitement about Tomlin's first year in the 'Burgh in 2007.
1 - The Steelers have won six straight years In Week 1, or Opening Weekend of the NFL Season. There's lots we don't know about the schedule, but we do know it all begins with a Thursday game against the Tennessee Titans to commence the season. If that streak is going to continue to lucky number seven, it will have to come against a quality opening opponent.
2 -Week 2 has not been a great one for the Steelers in recent years. Since the start of the decade in 2000, the Steelers are just 4-5 in the second week of the season.
3 -Number of times Steelers RB Willie Parker has started off the season with back-to-back 100+ yard games (2008, 2007, 2005)
4 - The last time the Steelers squared off against the NFC North foes in 2005, which rotates in cycles every four years, the Steelers went 4-0 in route to winning the franchise's fifth Super Bowl.
5 -Number of teams on the 2009 schedule that the Steelers have all time losing records against (Denver, Minnesota, Oakland, Chicago, Green Bay)
6 - Number of times Hines Ward has started his season with at least 1 TD reception on Opening Weekend. In case you forgot, it's also the number of Super Bowls the Steelers have won, more than any franchise in league history.
8 - Number of teams on the 2009 schedule with a team QB rating under the league average of 81.5 last year.
9 - Number of teams on the 2009 schedule with fewer defensive sacks than the league average of 32.5 in 2008.
10 - Number of 2009 opponents who have changed head coaches since the Steelers won their 5th Super Bowl in 2005.
11 - Number of teams on 2009 schedule that had a record of .500 or worse in 2008.
12- Number of teams on the 2009 schedule that were in either the bottom 10 in the league in pass defense, rush defense or both in 2008.
13 - Number of games against divisional opponents that the Steelers have played during the Mike Tomlin era, playoffs included. The team's record in such games is 12-1.
14- Age difference between Mike Tomlin and the youngest player on the team Lawrence Timmons.
15 - Number of players on the Steelers roster who are currently 30 years of age or older or will be during the 2009 season.
16 - Number of teams on 2009 schedule with fewer Super Bowl victories than the Pittsburgh Steelers
17 - Number of players on the Steelers roster who will be free agents at the end of the 2010 season. Due to the way the Steelers typically do business, 2009 will be a big year for a healthy portion of our roster.