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Steelers and Harrison, by the Numbers

There’s a potential “something” in the air with the Steelers this season. PaVaSteeler began to sense it after looking at all of the off-season coaching changes, the final draft picks, and initial reports coming out of the OTAs. He made a couple of off-handed comments here on BTSC at the time, and a few of yinz echoed them.

Gregory Shamus

We saw a flash of it in the first half of the opening game against the Cleveland Browns. Of course, we then had to suffer through a dose of the S.O.S (Same Old Steelers) in the remaining half of the Browns game that has given us two playoff-less seasons of 8-8 and, most recently, throughout the entire game against the Baltimore Ravens.

But it resurfaced in the game against the Carolina Panthers. Better gap control by our D-line; linebackers setting a better edge; David DeCastro showing his edginess.

Questions still remain about who the Steelers are after three games. Yes, they're 2-1, but that's only a game and a half of playing well, combined with a game and a half of playing poorly. To put it another way, a 50/50 split. Too reminiscent of the last two years for my comfort, but we still have a lot of football left in the 2014 season.

Despite the Steelers being in limbo (neither discernibly all good nor bad at this point), there's still that "something" about this team that has PaVa guardedly optimistic. Maybe it's a burgeoning attitude that we see developing on the field, personified by DeCastro's ill-considered but satisfying defense of a teammate, or the demonstration of prowess given by the Offensive Line, or the sheer magic that's quite apparent between Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, and which seems to be quietly-but-quickly developing in Markus Wheaton.

It's coming on late September and, around PaVaSteelers' home area, a transition is occurring; that seasonal transition where all your senses emerge from their somnambulance caused by the endless, glaring heat of the long, flat, humid, steely days of summer, and into the invigorating, crisp autumn air filled with the colors of changing leaves and the clean smell of high October winds. It's a time when the weather outside takes you back to the days when you came home from school and immediately started playing football with the kids in the neighborhood until it got too dark to see. That magical "something" that so quickly transports us back in time is the same "something" PaVaSteelers thinks we might be seeing a glimmer of in this year's Steelers team.

PaVaSteeler isn't into numerology, that pseudoscience seeking to find special meaning between numbers and coinciding events........but there seems to be a confluence forming between the Steelers and James Harrison getting back together and the number 7; a coming together of things nearly as palpable as the Monongahela and Allegheny coming together to form the Ohio River. You all know the obvious ones: seventh Lombardi or Roethlisberger wearing No. 7, but consider this:

The Steelers are bringing James Harrison out of retirement, seven years after he exploded onto the national scene with his Monday Night Football performance against the Baltimore Ravens... years ago in a November home game in which the Ravens were held to seven points... years ago in a November home game attended by Mean Joe Greene and other former Steeler greats celebrating the Steelers' seventy-fifth anniversary...

...and seven years later, the Steelers with James Harrison, will be playing the Ravens at home in November, on a night when Mean Joe Greene will be attending so the Steelers and Steeler Nation can honor him by retiring his Number 75 jersey...

Want more?  The Steelers are bringing Harrison back because of an injury to Jarvis Jones, the player who replaced Harrison...

...the player who now wears Harrison's number 92, Daniel McCullers, weighs 77 pounds more than Harrison.

Yes, Harrison's return is due to a lack of OLB depth on the roster. Yes, the Steeler rookies and young veterans are still trying to find their way, still working to form themselves into cohesive units on both offense and defense. Yes, both of the Steelers' No. 1 draft picks the last two years are injured, but there's just "something" about this team and the fact that we're seeing a glimpse of this has me excited. And now the face of the Steelers' Renegade is back, donning the Black and Gold for one last season...

You think maybe PaVaSteeler has gone around the bend with all this stuff; that he's gone so far down the pessimistic path that he's desperate to find reason to hope, to believe? The number 7 has a lot of lore attached to it: "Seventh son of the Seventh son"..."Seven Deadly Sins"...."Seventh Heaven"..."Seven Wonders of the Ancient World"..."Seven Factors of Enlightenment", and so on...

The number 7 is real for the Steelers, more so than any other team. We already have six Lombardis, one more than either the Dallas Cowboys or San Francisco 49ers, the only other two teams to have a dynasty in the modern NFL era (6+1=7). Is there strength in symbols and, as a member of Steelers Nation, do you even have to ask that? What about the Terrible Towel and the Immaculate Reception?

Maybe I'm nuts, but consider these last two items regarding the Steelers, James Harrison, and the number 7:

1) Subtract the two numbers you see in the picture at the top of this article

2) Check out the time stamp on the BTSC article breaking the news of the Steelers intent to sign Harrison:

...just sayin'.