The most prestigious collection of professional football players got another step closer to adding more black and gold to it’s decor.
On Thursday night, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its finalists for the 2019 class. Among those chosen was former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca.
Faneca, the team’s first round pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, proved to be arguably the best offensive guard during his time, adding nine Pro-Bowl selections and six first team All-Pro nods during his time.
Faneca’s time with the Steelers spanned for 10 seasons, winning Super Bowl XL with the team in 2005 before playing for the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals following his departure after the 2007 season. Although his last three seasons were spent outside of the steel city, Faneca is widely regarded as a fortified member of Steelers history, finding himself on the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team, while also claiming a spot on the NFL’s All-2000’s team as well.
Faneca finds himself in great competition to get into Canton, Ohio. Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed, Isaac Bruce and Champ Bailey top the list of the final 15 players for consideration. The 2019 Hall of Fame class will be revealed the night before the Super Bowl on February 2nd.
While the Steelers may not have found themselves competing for a championship, the team still has a chance to make noise on the first weekend of February, thanks to one of the greatest offensive linemen to ever play the game.
Steelers Defense First in 30 Years with Four Straight 50-Sack Seasons
PITTSBURGH — Stephon Tuitt’s third quarter sack of Philip Rivers gave the Steelers defensive unit at least 50 sacks in each of the last four seasons (2017-20). The Steelers are the first team in the NFL to record 50-plus sacks in four consecutive seasons since the New York Giants (1985-1988).
This marks yet another historic achievement for the Steelers defense. Earlier in the game, TJ Watt became the first player in the illustrious history of the Steelers franchise to record 14 or more sacks in multiple seasons while wearing black and gold.
Unlike the time period of the Steelers streak, the Giants were a consistent contender and won a Super Bowl during that span under Bill Parcells in the late 1980’s. After missing the playoffs in both 2018 and 2019, this Steelers team is assured a spot in the 2020 postseason. But just being in the playoffs is not enough on its won to secure receiving the respect of great defenses of the past.
TJ Watt Becomes First Steelers Player with Multiple 14-Sack Seasons
PITTSBURGH — While the Steelers defense joined NFL history with its streak of consecutive games with a sack a couple weeks ago, linebacker TJ Watt’s sack of Philip Rivers early in the first quarter of his team’s game against the Colts gave him an historic achievement all to himself.
Watt became the first player in the illustrious history of the Steelers franchise to record 14 or more sacks in multiple seasons while wearing black and gold. The 26-year-old linebacker continues a season that has him firmly in the discussion to earn his first career Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Watt is also on pace to surpass his previous career high for solo tackles in a season. He entered the game with 40 with 50 being his best total from the 2018 season.
Steelers to Announce 2020 Hall of Honor Class in Halftime Livestream
The Pittsburgh Steelers will announce their 2020 Hall of Honor class at halftime of the Week 16 meeting with the Indianapolis Colts in a livestream video presentation, the club announced Saturday night.
The event will be hosted by AT&T Sportsnet and ESPN Pittsburgh’s Stan Savran, and will provide fans a virtual tour of the new Hall of Honor display and include interviews from former Steelers players and coaches on the 2020 class.
As announced back in September, the safety Troy Polamalu, middle linebacker James Farrior, outside linebacker Greg Lloyd, safety Mike Wagner and defensive end Dwight White will be honored as the 2020 class.
Pittsburgh inducted 24 inaugural members when the Hall of Honor was created in 2017. The Steelers added five more inductees in 2018, while four new members were enshrined last year.