View Full Version : When Faneca raises voice, Steelers listen

11-16-2007, 07:10 AM

His teammates, especially the ones on the offensive line, swear there is nothing different about guard Alan Faneca, aside from a Bunyan-esque beard and red hair that flows to his shoulders.

They say his emotional rallying cry in the huddle on the winning touchdown drive against the Cleveland Browns, while conceding it was a little out of character, was not anything new.

Or that his post-touchdown celebrations with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are a sign that Faneca, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, is savoring what appear to be his final days with the Steelers.

"To me, it wasn't too far off from how he normally is on game day, especially at crucial parts of the game," said left tackle Marvel Smith, who plays next to Faneca on the offensive line.

"He's been the same guy I've played with the last two years," said tight end Heath Miller. "He's going to give 100 percent no matter what."

"He was doing what a good leader does," said right tackle Willie Colon. "Alan has been doing it for a while."

Not many offensive linemen have been doing it as well for so long as Faneca, even for a franchise that boasts two of the greatest centers in NFL history -- Hall of Famer Mike Webster and seven-time Pro Bowl selection Dermontti Dawson.

He is in the middle of his 10th season with the Steelers, playing at the same level he always has, remaining the most important component in the offensive line that helps fuel the National Football League's No. 2 rushing attack.

Faneca, though, is also in the final year of a contract that will pay him $4,375,000, including a $1 million roster bonus, in 2007. And there appears to be no hope for renewal in sight -- a prognosis that has existed almost from the time Faneca had an uncharacteristic public spat with the organization in minicamp.

Nonetheless, Faneca said he has not approached this season any differently than the others, nor has he embraced what is happening on the field more fervently than past seasons. A possible exception is being humbled by his selection to the Steelers' 75th anniversary team, one of four current Steelers to be named to the all-time team.

"I don't think about it in that way," Faneca said. "It's a more generalized way -- that I've been here 10 years -- in that manner. I don't think anything else makes it mean any more or any less."

But, his teammates wouldn't blame him if he did.

"How can you not," Colon said. "He's only human. If you know it's your last time doing something ... it's what you want to make of it. He realizes it's out of his hands, all you can do is go out there and play his hardest."

Smith, who has been a starter since 2000, said he has had some small discussions with Faneca, 30, about his future with the organization, but it wasn't a "real important, sit-down conversation."

Added Smith: "To me, it's like business as usual. I don't see him sitting back, taking everything in, like it's the last time it's going to happen."

Nonetheless, Faneca stepped out of character when he came into the huddle and exhorted his teammates for what proved to be the winning touchdown drive in the 31-28 comeback victory against the Browns. According to guard Kendall Simmons, Faneca yelled: "You got to get it in [the end zone]. It's time to go. No matter who it is, we got to get it in and win this game."

"It put a little bit more fire in us," said Miller, who caught the winning 2-yard touchdown pass. "I don't think it's typically his demeanor, but, when something needs to be said, he'll step up and say it. He's the type of guy who has respect in this locker room. Everyone is going to listen when he says something because they know it's important."

Faneca said he did not recall exactly what he said, but he spoke up in the huddle because the offense had to go back on the field sooner than expected because of Joshua Cribbs' 100-yard kick return for touchdown. He said the offense was still tired from the previous drive that culminated with Roethlisberger's 30-yard touchdown run.

"It's a situation where we went down and scored, we had this big drive to get back in it, and they came back and scored a touchdown -- it kind of deflates you a little bit," Faneca said. "All of a sudden, you have to get back out there real fast. We got cut short on our break a little bit, and it deflates you a little. You have to get amped up to get back out there."

Faneca is still a rock on the OL and the team respects him for what he's done in his career and how he's been dedicated to the team over the years. At this point barring a miracle turnaround he'll be gone after this year and even if he is he'll be remembered as one of the best Steelers lineman in team history.

11-16-2007, 09:18 AM
Alan Faneca is a ROCK he is the heart and sole of that offensive line and the quote above detailing his determination on that touchdown drive emphasises everything about what playing for the Steelers means. If we had an Alan Faneca in every position on that line we would just role over teams. One man doesnt make a whole team but Alan Faneca is a big huge part of this team and with his determination and influence on the rest of the guys we can start to look forward to collecting some rings for the other hand.

Mr Faneca i salute you sir.


(It just so happens he is also my favourite player !)

11-16-2007, 09:58 AM
That is some type of things that we will miss next season with out Alan.

11-16-2007, 10:31 AM
That's a concern for sure Dom, if and when Faneca leaves his leadership on the field will be missed and that's a big part of the OL. Our starting 5 could potentially have a completely different look in 2008 partly because of Faneca leaving but also if the other starters don't step up their starting jobs could be in jeapordy.

11-16-2007, 10:58 AM
I have to confess I was more than a little ticked off at Alan for raising the stink in the press about his contract earlier this year, but so far he done nothing more than what he has been doing for the past 10+ years, and that's be the O-line leader.

I can't do anything but respect him for that.

black an gold 4 life
11-16-2007, 04:39 PM
well n the beginning alan n my opinion was half doing his job if i remember correctly every body was complaining about his prefromance,early n the season,i would love 2 keep alan but not at the price he commanding, if he take what pittsburgh will offer i would love 2 c him finish his career n black an gold...........................

11-16-2007, 06:42 PM
That is some type of things that we will miss next season with out Alan.

:ditto: I sure hope he stays with us,,,,,,,,,"somehow" :bigthumb:

11-16-2007, 07:04 PM
well n the beginning alan n my opinion was half doing his job if i remember correctly every body was complaining about his prefromance,early n the season,i would love 2 keep alan but not at the price he commanding, if he take what pittsburgh will offer i would love 2 c him finish his career n black an gold...........................

Excuse my ignorance but what is the difference in the sum that Alan is asking to what the Steelers is offering?

I have been a 28 year club member for my Aussie Rules team (North Melbourne Kangaroos) and players are willing to TAKE PAY-CUTS just to stay UNITED.. including Philadelphia's Punter, Big Sav Rocca who was on a paltry $100,000 contract in his first season at the club, infact in his last game, a play-off, he was rushed to the game with a police escort as his child was born that very morning and arrived at the game with an hour spare to prepare. :lol:

So, really, if Alan, can see the difference to what Joey is going thru in Miami, he'll take the PAY CUT just to finish off his career as a PROUD STEELER...with the money he is getting, does his lifestyle actually change ...??? Why be greedy and risk to be unproductive in another system is what that he has to seriously believe & think about. :banging: << c'mon Alan, you're better than that.

11-16-2007, 07:21 PM
I got chills reading this.:tt02: I questioned his motives early in the season, man , do I feel like a tool, now. (standing):clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
That means I have to miss him next year:banging:

11-19-2007, 10:48 PM
I think this pretty much eliminates any doubts over whether Faneca has been giving it his all this year.
He's such a huge part of the team. I'm REALLY afraid of what our O-line will look like next year without him.

11-20-2007, 12:10 PM
As much as I hate to say this, BUT WHERE THE HELL WAS HIS RALLYING CRY AGAINST THE LOWLY JETS????? :banging::eyecrazy::cursin:

11-20-2007, 01:04 PM
:ditto: I sure hope he stays with us,,,,,,,,,"somehow" :bigthumb:

There is not a chance in hell he will be a Steeler next year...unfortunately he wants too much money and is not willing to take a pay cut to finish his career with us. I hope I'm wrong, because I am scared to death to see our line without him next year. As pissed off as I was at him for all the drama in the offseason...he has been a professional and a great leader on the team!