Former Steeler Alan Faneca Doesn't Make The Cut, Penn Hills Native Aaron Donald Receives NFL Honor


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ATLANTA (AP/KDKA) – Aliquippa native Ty Law was among those elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame on Saturday.

The 2019 Hall of Fame class was introduced during the NFL Honors.

Tony Gonzalez, Champ Bailey and Ed Reed were also voted into the Hall on Saturday, along with center Kevin Mawae.

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen made it as a contributor, as did former Cowboys and NFL executive Gil Brandt. Defensive back Johnny Robinson of the 1960s-era Chiefs was the senior selection.

Gonzalez was the most prolific pass catcher at his position, catching 1,325 passes for 15,127 yards over 17 seasons with the Chiefs and Falcons. He also scored 111 touchdowns, and punctuated most of them with a trademark slam dunk of the football over the crossbar – a move now prohibited in the NFL.

Former Steeler Alan Faneca was a finalist for the fourth time this year, but he did not make it in.

In addition to introducing the 2019 Hall of Fame class, the NFL and the Associated Press annual accolades were announced at the NFL Honors on Saturday.

For the second consecutive year, Aaron Donald is The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Donald is a Penn Hills native and was a defensive tackle for the Pitt Panthers.

In a two-man race that wasn’t much of a contest, the defensive tackle who will lead the Los Angeles Rams into the Super Bowl against New England earned 45 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. The only unanimous member of the 2018 All-Pro team, Donald easily outdistanced Chicago edge rusher Khalil Mack, also an All-Pro who received five votes in balloting announced night at NFL Honors.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 20: Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates after defeating the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints with a score of 26 to 23. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Donald, the only Rams player selected for the top defensive honor, joins Lawrence Taylor and J.J. Watt as players to win the award in back-to-back seasons. Donald led the NFL with 20 1-2 sacks.

“Any time you put a body of work into it and then it pays off,” Donald said, “and you’re rewarded for it, it means a lot. It’s a blessing.”

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