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Munchak: 'I knew he was special'

Posted Feb 1, 2018

Mike Munchak and Dermontti Dawson are in Alan Faneca's Hall of Fame corner.

Former Steelers guard Alan Faneca is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018. The class will be revealed on Saturday during the NFL Honors show.

Throughout the week Steelers.com will be highlighting Faneca as his quest for a Gold Jacket closes in.

Today Mike Munchak and Dermontti Dawson shares why the six-time All-Pro should be in the Hall of Fame. 

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Mike Munchak knows what it takes to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Dermontti Dawson knows what it takes to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Even more, they both know what it takes to be a Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman.

Munchak, the Steelers’ offensive line coach, played guard for the Houston Oilers for 12 seasons from 1982-93, and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Dawson, who played for the Steelers from 1988-2000 and redefined the center position, was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

And both of them believe former Steelers’ guard Alan Faneca should earn the same honor.

Faneca is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018, which will be announced on Saturday, Feb. 3, during the NFL Honors show.

Munchak was impressed with Faneca when he scouted him coming out of college while Munchak was with the then Tennessee Oilers. He never coached him, but he saw firsthand what Faneca could do on numerous occasions.

“When I looked at him in college, I knew he was special,” said Munchak. “When the Steelers drafted him I knew they got someone special. You keep an eye on guys like that who you watched. We played the Steelers and I watched him play.

“He fit into the Steelers’ mentality, the offense here. He could do it all. He was tough, mean, a big finish guy. He got better year after year. He did that for a long time.

“I liked his demeanor. It was like the great ones who played the game. His effort, his finish, he could pull. He could do all of those things. He was a great fit and had a great career. He went to Pro Bowls, All Pros and it was obvious he was one of the best at his position.

“He was part of the tradition in Pittsburgh and had a lot of success and knew how to get the job done on Sunday.”

Faneca was the Steelers first-round draft pick in 1998 and played 10 seasons for the black and gold, and 13 overall in the NFL. He was a member of the Super Bowl XL Championship team, and was selected to nine Pro Bowls. Faneca was a six-time All-Pro selection and was named to the Steelers All-Time Team in 2007 and the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team.

“Alan is more than deserving to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Dawson of his former teammate. “I told him I knew you were going to be a good player the first time you came in as a rookie. Most guys don’t come in that seasoned like he was. He was quick, strong, and knowledgeable. He had all of the attributes. Some guys struggle when they come in with the system, trying to learn the system, technique wise. Alan came right in and was a perfect fit. There was no slack at all. He came in and did his thing.

“You knew he had the makings of a phenomenal player and it played out that way.”