The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
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: How long will it take for Alan Faneca to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
The most frustrating part of the argument against the Hall of Fame supposedly becoming the ‘Hall of Very Good’ is the stark reality that there are still, every year, players who are clearly worthy of the Hall of Fame who have had to wait their turn.
And while sometimes I’ve disagreed and thought that somebody who made it in over somebody else was not as good, and thus should have had to wait longer, I’ve never outright said to myself, ‘this guy is not a Hall of Famer’.
Just look at some of the Steelers who have had to wait for a while. Lynn Swann retired in 1983 and didn’t get in until 2001. Jerome Bettis was left waiting for a few years, apparently because they didn’t want to put more than one running back in at a time as he waited behind Curtis Martin and LaDainian Tomlinson. Not even Mike Webster was a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Dermontti Dawson took about six years or so before he got in. That’s about where Alan Faneca happens to be since his retirement and ensuing eligibility. He was passed up once again this year in favor of fellow guard Steve Hutchinson.
So does that mean it’s his turn in 2021? Or will the ‘offensive line’ slot in the class go to Tony Boselli? With the likes of Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson becoming eligible, and the domino effect that follows, who’s to say?