The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will be announced on Saturday and several fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping that former guard Alan Faneca will be one of this year’s members. Not surprisingly, former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher recently went on record again as to why the former first-round draft pick out of LSU shouldn’t have to wait any longer to get a bust in Canton, OH.
“He was an integral part of the run game,” said Cowher, according to Teresa Varley of steelers.com. “The guard position, he almost redefined it. He was a guy who could block at the point of attack, but also block in space. We all remember the big run Willie Parker had in Super Bowl XL. It was really Alan at that point of attack. That was what we were able to do with a guy like him. He was a staple, he was a constant. He set the tone. He was a quiet leader on our football team. Without a doubt he was the heart and soul of the offensive line.”
Faneca, who played 13 seasons in the NFL, spent his first 10 in Pittsburgh with the Steelers and during that span he was voted to the Pro Bowl seven times and voted a First-Team All-Pro six times. After leaving Pittsburgh in 2008, he was named a Pro Bowler two more times as a member of the New York Jets.
“When you talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers during the time he was there, arguably we had the best running game in the National Football League,” Cowher reportedly said. “To be able to do that was special. We ran left behind him or we ran right and he was pulling. He was the guy who led the way for a lot of really good running backs, including one that is in the Hall of Fame right now who would tell you a big part of why he is there is Alan Faneca.”
The only thing that could ultimately prevent Faneca from becoming a member of the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class is the fact that several other former top NFL offensive linemen are also finalists this year and that list of players includes Tony Boselli, Steve Hutchinson, Joe Jacoby, and Kevin Mawae. With that noted, none of those four players garnered as many post-season awards than Faneca did during their long during careers.
Should Faneca ultimately not be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, it’s easy to speculate that he’ll finally kick in Canton’s door in the very near future.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will be revealed on Saturday during the annual NFL Honors show.
Alan Faneca looks back on his time in Black & Gold. pic.twitter.com/yhozvNfM1h
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 3, 2017