2021 Offseason Questions: Will Alan Faneca Ultimately Pursue Coaching Path To NFL?

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 ultimately take his coaching career into the NFL?

As Alan Faneca prepares himself to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame upon the completion of one of the all-time great careers at his position, he also begins a new career, one he has long toyed with, but is apparently now prepared to enter seriously, and that is coaching.

Having been retired since 2011, he has now had a decade to adjust to the post-football life, but it certainly was not unknown that he was interested in coaching. He twice interned with the Steelers to work with the offensive linemen when Mike Munchak was here during the Summer, testing the waters, but he wasn’t ready to commit yet.

Now, as we know, he has taken a head coaching position at the high school level, but we don’t know what his plans might be for the long term. He may only be interested in coaching at that local level. But I would certainly be interested in seeing how his coaching career develops and if he should pursue opportunities at higher levels.

As I just talked about yesterday, it’s not uncommon for former Steelers to wind up in coaching positions. Pittsburgh even has Jerry Olsvasky on its current staff, and have previously employed Joey Porter and Carnell Lake. William Gay served as an intern two years ago. Bruce Arians’ Buccaneers have multiple former Steelers on their staff. Nick Eason has been coaching since 2013. Deshea Townsend is in Chicago, etc.

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