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Alan Faneca names Hines Ward as his Hall of Fame presenter, says former Steelers WR ‘needs to get in’ as well

Hines Ward was selected 66 spots behind Alan Faneca in the 1998 draft. But this summer, Ward will be several feet in front of Faneca when he helps induct his former teammate into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Faneca made the announcement on Tuesday, just over four months before this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony in Canton, Ohio. 

A teammate of Ward’s from 1998-2007, Faneca said the former Steelers receiver was caught off guard when Faneca reached out via FaceTime to ask him to be his presenter. 

“He was at a loss for words,” Faneca said, via Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley. “Hines is very rarely left without words. That is another fun part of the process. To be able to do that for somebody and leave him speechless. Every part of this process feels more real and special. Those who have gone through the process in the past have told me this is only the beginning. Every time some small things like that happens, it’s a moment that is so special. I will never forget it.”

Faneca posted a video via Instagram of him informing Ward of his decision to have him present him this summer in Canton. 

Ward and Faneca came to a Steelers team that was in transition. After a successful run that included one AFC title and two other AFC title game appearances, free agency decimated the Steelers’ roster by the end of the 1990s. Pittsburgh won just 13 games during Ward and Faneca’s first two seasons. But starting in 2001, Ward and Faneca were helping spearhead a new championship era in Pittsburgh. From 2001-05, the Steelers won 55 regular-season games, three division titles and the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl title. In Super Bowl XL, Faneca’s block sprung Willie Parker free on a 75-yard touchdown run. Ward took home MVP honors after catching five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. 

Faneca is hoping that Ward’s inclusion in this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will help revive Ward’s Hall of Fame conversation. A five-time semifinalist for Hall of Fame induction, Ward retired after the 2011 season as the Steelers’ all-time leader in career receptions, yards, and touchdowns. A two-time Super Bowl champion, Ward is tied for fourth in career postseason touchdown catches, fifth in postseason receptions, and eighth in playoff receiving yards. 

“Hines needs to get in and he will,” Faneca said. “It just needs to be sooner rather than later in my opinion. It’s part of the process. If it catches someone’s eye by him doing this, and they look at him in a different light, I am happy to be able to do that.”




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