Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls Alan Faneca the greatest guard in Steelers history. We aren’t going to argue.
Faneca announced the end of his wildly successful career on Tuesday, 13 years after Pittsburgh took him in the first round out of LSU. Faneca said on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday he made his mind up about a month ago, but wanted to wait until after the draft to announce the decision in case the Cardinals wanted to take a guard. (They didn’t.)
Faneca overcame epilepsy as a kid to be one of the best guards of his era, and said the decision to retire was difficult.
“The first thing, when you start to talking about, seriously talking about, retirement I was like, am I allowed to quit playing football?” Faneca told Rich Gannon and Adam Schein. “I mean, I’ve been playing football since fourth grade, every fall lacing up the cleats and putting on the helmet and shoulder pads. It’s like, are you even allowed to think about not playing football, because you’ve been doing it for so long?”
While he helped the Jets and Cardinals, Faneca will always be remembered as a Steeler.
“It hurt to leave, I’ll say that much. It hurt to leave. I did not want to leave Pittsburgh,” Faneca said. “I had spent 10 years there and had a lot invested in the organization, enjoyed playing for it, had a lot of fun. I walked off that field and sat in my locker and I bawled for about 10 minutes after that last game when we lost to Jacksonville in the playoffs.”
Tuesday was a day for different emotions and reflection for Faneca. We wish him all the best in whatever he chooses to do next.