The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.
After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?
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 finally make the Hall of Fame?
With this being the day before the holiest of sports days—Super Bowl Sunday—there is some pertinent business to attend to, and that is (publicly) settling on who will be a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2021. Multiple individuals with ties to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization have a legitimate shot of making it.
It is a virtual certainty that Bill Nunn will be recognized as a contributor, finally, even if it is long overdue, so the bigger question is, will Alan Faneca’s increasingly long wait finally end? One of the great interior linemen of his era, he has already had to wait in line behind the likes of Kevin Mawae and Steve Hutchinson, (the way Jerome Bettis waited behind LaDainian Tomlinson and Curtis Martin), but this year may finally be his turn.
One thing that I believe has certainly been established is that Faneca has a Hall of Fame resume, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets in. He deserves, in my opinion, to be enshrined as part of this class, and I have a feeling that he will get in.
But my feeling has also been wrong before. I thought that he would get in last year, and ahead of Hutchinson. I see him as ahead of other candidates, but of course, the voters can always disagree with me. We won’t know until the class is revealed.