Just like his third time a year ago, the fourth time turned out to not be the charm for former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca as he wasn’t voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 on Saturday. This was the fourth-consecutive year that Faneca had been a finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This year’s 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will include an offensive lineman, however, but it’s longtime NFL center Kevin Mawae, who played for the Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans over a span of 16 seasons.
Joining Mawae in the Pro Football Class of 2019 are Champ Bailey, Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law, Johnny Robinson, Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt.
Faneca, who was originally selected by the Steelers in the first-round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh, played a total of 13 seasons in the league with the Steelers, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals. During Faneca’s long NFL career he was voted an AP First-Team All-Pro six times, a Second-Team All-Pro twice and a Pro Bowler nine times. Additionally, Faneca was named to the Steelers All-Time Team in 2007 and to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team in 2010.
Faneca also won a championship with the Steelers during the 2005 season and his key pulling block in Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks that helped allow running back Willie Parker to run 75-yards for a touchdown early in the second half will forever be remembered in Pittsburgh and Super Bowl history. He ultimately played in and started in 14 NFL playoff games during his long career with 11 of those coming as a member of the Steelers.
As a rookie with the Steelers in 1998, Faneca didn’t start the first four games of that season. However, he became the Steelers starting left guard by the team’s fifth game and in total, started 153 of a possible 160 regular season games during his 10 years in Pittsburgh. Faneca only missed one game during his entire 13 year career in the NFL due to an injury and that happened in 1999, his second professional season, when he missed the team’s Week 4 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a sprained ankle.
While Faneca was voted an AP Second-Team All-Pro in 2003 for his play that season, he would have likely been a First-Team selection had he not unselfishly moved from left guard to start nine total games that season at left tackle due to injuries the team had on their offensive line.
In Faneca’s 13 seasons in the NFL with the Steelers, Jets and Cardinals, 10 times his offenses ranked in the top-10 in rushing in the league, including six top-five finishes and twice at No. 1 (2001, 2009). In 2007, the Steelers ranked third in the NFL in rushing and that same year the Jets ranked 19th. In his first season with the Jets in 2008, their offense vaulted to ninth in the NFL in rushing and in 2009, his second season in New York, that rushing offense was the best in the league.
Faneca will give it ago again next year and hopefully the fifth time will be the charm.