“Back To Back”

Offensive linemen are football players too. Without those five big guys up front, quarterbacks wouldn’t have the pockets to throw from and running backs wouldn’t have the lanes to run through. They are vital to any football team. Nowadays, you see teams trying to draft those offensive linemen that can anchor the line for years to come. One of my all-time favorites is Jonathan Ogden. He was a nice guy off the field, but on it, he was a bully that played with relentless passion. One name that’s come into the Hall of Fame discussion is Alan Faneca. He no longer has to wait. In his sixth year of eligibility, he’s become a member of the Hall of Fame.

Alan was a dominant force. During his playing days, he played with a black and blue attitude. That was perfect for the city of Pittsburgh. If you watched those Steelers teams back in the day, most of their running plays were ran near Alan. He was a bully that plowed everything in his path. When I played football, our coach always used a term referred to as “pancakes” when an offensive linemen would knock guys down. It’s safe to say Alan had his share of pancakes throughout the years. He was a physical guy over 300 pounds that was extremely mobile on his feet. He was as consistent in run blocking as he was in pass blocking. It was rare to see an offensive guard be as complete as he was.

In his career, Alan was a primary blocker for Jerome Bettis, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ray Lewis has often discussed the impact of number 66. The legendary linebacker always said he would point out Alan whenever the Ravens would play the Steelers. He’ll join Bettis, Troy Polamalu, and Bill Cowher in Canton.

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