Background and college
Born in New Orleans on December 7, 1976, Faneca attended John Curtis Christian Middle School and later Lamar Consolidated High School in Texas. He also lettered in track. He was an All-Greater Houston, Orlando Sentinel All-South, and Touchdown Club of Houston player of the year. At age 15, Faneca began having seizures, which were later diagnosed as epilepsy. He started on medication to control it and was able to continue playing football. Faneca attended LSU and was redshirted in 1994. He was voted the Southeastern Conference freshman of the year by Knoxville News Sentinel in 1995. In 1996 he was selected as a second-team All-American. He started his last 36 games at LSU and allowed only one sack in his last season. He had 210 pancake blocks in his collegiate career. He returned to school in 1999 and earned a degree in management entrepreneurship.
Before the Jets
He was picked by Pittsburgh in the first round (26th overall) in the 1998 NFL Draft. He saw limited playing time at first but injuries to fellow Steelers Will Wolford and Jim Sweeney allowed him to get his first start against the Cincinnati Bengals. He earned the Joe Greene Award as the team's top rookie. In 2000, Faneca helped the Steelers rank fourth in the league in rushing and was named a starter in the 2002 Pro Bowl. In 2003, he switched positions from left guard to left tackle due to injuries. He has helped running backs Jerome Bettis, Duce Staley, and Willie Parker set individual and team rushing records. He helped the Steelers reach Super Bowl XL in Detroit, in which Pittsburgh defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-10. He helped spring Parker to a 75-yard touchdown run that is currently the longest run in Super Bowl history.
As a Jet
Faneca married Julie Kuchta of Virginia Beach. They met as freshmen at LSU. They have one daughter, named Anabelle.