The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will Alan Faneca be a member of the Hall of Fame class of 2019?
The Steelers more than most teams have had a strong history of offensive line play. They already have two linemen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson, and we have been waiting for four years to hear a third name called, that being Alan Faneca’s.
It’s not that easy for offensive linemen to make it into the Hall of Fame, even though every team has five starters at a time, in large part because they don’t have any traditional statistics to go by, and frankly it’s a lot easier to just look at numbers.
It’s even harder for interior offensive linemen to distinguish themselves than it is for tackles, who play on the end and routinely face their opponents’ premiere pass rushers, who the number of sacks that they give up and the names that they have gone up against are what gets brought up during their Hall of Fame presentation.
Even still, he has the resume of a Hall of Famer. Especially for a player at his position, it’s often a matter of time. even Dawson had to wait a number of years before he made it. And there are also a couple of other premiere interior linemen against whom he is competing, which will obviously hurt.
Those would be Steve Hutchinson and Kevin Mawae, both of whom are similarly accomplished and respected. Each of them certainly represented among the best at their respective positions during their era.
The Hall of Fame voters have to decide in what order they will get in. I believe that all three are deserving, but it’s unimaginable that they would put three linemen in one class, let alone three interior linemen. They barely even allow two wide receivers to go in together.
So we’ll know by tomorrow night, is this Faneca’s year?