Former Steelers Faneca, Ward Named 2018 Hall Of Fame Semifinalists

Former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca and wide receiver Hines Ward are among the 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018, it was announced Tuesday night.

For Faneca., who played 10 seasons with the Steelers after being selected by them in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of LSU, this is the third consecutive year that hes been a semifinalists. Faneca played a total of 13 years in the NFL and was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and six-time First-Team All-Pro selection.

As for Ward, who played all 14 years of his NFL career in Pittsburgh after being selected by the Steelers in the third-round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Georgia, this is the second consecutive year that hes been a semifinalists. Ward, who was named MVP of Super Bowl XL, was a four-time Pro Bowl selection during his NFL career.

The next step in the Hall of Fame selection process comes in January when the list of semifinalists is trimmed to 15 Modern-Era Finalists. That list increases to 18 finalists with the inclusion of the recommended nominees of the Hall of Fame’s Contributors and Seniors Committees.

In reality, Faneca has a much better shot at becoming a member of the Class of 2018 than Ward does. Ward is sure to face a lot of competition in the coming years from players who also played the wide receiver position and thus he might be waiting a long while with no guarantee he’s ever elected.

As for Faneca, if 2018 isn’t his year, one has to think he’ll get in within the next few years.

  • Steelers12

    Hines was a game changer receiving and blocking wise

  • nutty32

    Lots of big/good names on that list. Going to be tough sledding for both.

  • PittShawnC

    Agree with Dave, I think Faneca and even Troy will be in before Hines.

    Just some brutal classes coming up.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Faneca should make it this year

  • Darth Blount 47

    Looks like potentially another year and another trek to Canton to hold up my Donnie Shell sign.

  • Ted Webb

    Faneca has a decent shot, but Ward nope there’s 5 WR semifinalists and Ward is probably number 5 out of 5. When he retired I thought maybe in a few years he’ll get in after the initial wait of 5 but now I’m thinking it’s going to be hard might have to wait on veteran committee or a slim year. To his credit 2 rings and an MVP might help down the road

  • NinjaMountie

    Hines Ward was a great WR and a great teammate. That doesn’t equal HOF WR. I don’t think he’ll ever make it and I don’t think that’s unfair.

  • Steeler Nation!

    If you look at his body of work as a football player, not just his receptions, yards, and TDS, then he was much better than Owens and I’m not so sure I wouldn’t take him over all of them. Nobody could blow the top off the defense like Moss, but he got held in check in some of the biggest games of his life. Not so for Hines-SB MVP, played for consistent winner contributing in every way possible, and blocked like no WR I can ever remember! His stats look really strong when you take into account that HInes Ward was an every down player, not just when the ball was heading his way.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    You know I think there is a bit of a misconception about Hines because he was so well known for his blocking. His numbers are actually really good and if you check his prime years he was always hanging around with your Fitzgeralds, Johnsons, Welkers etc…..he had a few years where he was high up in the stat categories even amongst the monsters. Add in the SBMVP and what not on top of his special toughness and blocking and I think he really does deserve it. And not to be homerish with it because I have said before if I was choosing between Bettis and Ward for who deserves it more I would go with Ward.

  • NinjaMountie

    Nope, I think he was a great WR. I just don’t think he was a HOF WR.
    His blocking was just extra for me.
    Ward has great numbers on the surface. However, how many of those numbers are just because he played a long time? He’s 103rd in receiving yards per game.

  • Alan Tman

    Canton is getting push back on all the Steelers in the HOF!

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Some of it has to do with longevity but it isn’t like he didn’t have great individual seasons as well. I think 4 or 5 seasons with over 1000 yards, 4 or 5 with double digit TD’s.

    I guess ultimately it depends on how you view the HoF. At this point I could kind of care less, I know the players see the honor as a big thing but when guys like Terrell Davis get in what is the standard? That aside, for me I want a combination of talent and game changer. Ward wasn’t as talented as your Moss, TO, and Fitzgeralds but he was still a really good receiver and on top of that he had the x factor of being a tone setter and great blocker at a position not know for it. So for me when you start talking about Julio Jones, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson etc…..they are all amazing talents but they are all just kind of the same guy. Ward offered something different and on top of it had the SB accolades to boot.

    I understand if people don’t want to use that method to determine it but that is where I tend to go with it.

  • NinjaMountie

    I don’t disagree with you. I loved Hines Ward.
    I do believe he has a very limited window to get in the HOF. There are just so many WR that will be entering eligibility that are putting up crazy numbers and it’s only getting worse.
    I also agree with you Davis. I don’t think a player should get in on the back of a couple seasons.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    And I don’t disagree with you either lol. I think Ward is unfortunately stuck amongst a lot of very flashy names and his substance might be washed out amongst them. Not to say these other guys don’t deserve it too, but I would love to see Ward get in because of what he meant to the Steelers.

    One thing I have said many times is a lot of people might think I am crazy but if I were starting a team from scratch and you can just take any receivers of course you grab up guys like Moss or Rice but my 3rd guy after I get 2 greats is going to be Hines Ward. You just can’t quantify what he brings and on top of it he is a great WR in his own right.

  • Chris92021

    Faneca will get in this year along with Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, John Lynch and maybe that is it. The way the process works, there are cases for everyone on the list and cases against. Except Terrell Owens. He’s not in because he was not the best teammate nor was he media friendly.

    Hines Ward was my favorite player. However, I think he will never get in via the writer’s vote. Definitely not under the current format. I see him getting in via the Veterans/Senior Committee a la Ken Stabler and Kenny Easley.

  • NinjaMountie

    Hmmm. If I could take 3 WRs to start my team?
    I could definitely agree with that. Give me any two of the top 10 WRs and Hines Ward and I’d be happy.

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    If only Hines played all his carrer with Ben!!!, he deserves to be in The hall of game just because his QB was Kordell

  • Rusted Out

    Eat a d!ck ninja. You’re out of you’re mind.

  • Steeler Nation!

    I think the NFL Network gig had something to do with Davis getting in. He couldn’t be forgotten, and they were constantly pushing his highlights. Some say Warner didn’t need to go in either. I was ok with a Warner. But Davis really got in based on a lot less than we are talking about with Hines.

  • NinjaMountie


  • NinjaMountie

    Haha! Have you ever been polite in your life? Just curious.

  • Rocksolid20

    And Hines has more rings than that group combined ,
    Throw in a SB MVP and well sounds like a HOFer to me .

  • HondoCogburn

    The thing that’s gonna hurt Hines the most is the perception that he was dirty, aggressive yes, played to the echo of the whistle yes, dirty absolutely not.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    It also hurts him that he’s up against TO, Moss, and to a lesser extent, Holt and Bruce.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Troy definitely makes it in before Ward. I can see the selection committee picking Moss this year over TO based on TO’s character, but finally picking TO next year or the year after. And no way Ward makes it in the same year either of those guys does, his stats just don’t compare. I also think Faneca makes it in before Ward as well. Dominant at his position like Ward never was, Super Bowl champ, perennial Pro Bowler and All-Pro.

  • heath miller

    hines ward my fav all time steeler… greatest blocking WR ever…. took a hit and jut smiled at the opponent .. faneca … not so much … left the steelers .. bye bye HEEEATH

  • pittfan

    Where is Donnie Shell???

  • HondoCogburn

    And I sometimes think that voters might think there are too many Steelers in the hall.

  • Rusted Out

    Don’t you ever accuse me of that!