For 13 seasons, Alan Faneca was a stalwart in the trenches, spending most of his career opening gigantic running lanes and keeping quarterbacks safe for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His place in the game will now be enshrined forever with a gold bust in Canton, as Faneca will join the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2021.
A starter at LSU from 1994-97, the Steelers selected Faneca with the 26th pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Injuries thrust him into the starting lineup that year, and he became a fixture for Pittsburgh after that. During 10 seasons with the Steelers, Faneca was a first-team All-Pro six times, and he made the Pro Bowl seven times while wearing the Black and Gold.
His most famous play with the Steelers, arguable, came in Super Bowl XL in 2006. Early in the second half, he pulled to blast a Seahawks linebacker out of the way and send Willie Parker on a 75-yard touchdown run, the longest in Super Bowl history. Pittsburgh went on to win that game.
After a decade with Pittsburgh, he signed a five-year, $40 million deal with the New York Jets in 2008. Despite two more Pro Bowl nominations and helping the Jets get all the way to the AFC Championship game in 2010, the Jets cut him that spring. He played one more season, in 2010 with the Cardinals, before retiring.
This is the sixth year that Faneca has been a finalist for the Hall of Fame.