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Tale of the Tape: Fullback Fever

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Looking at how Gary Kubiak utilized the Andy Janovich, with great results, in the Monday night match-up against the Houston Texans.

Denver Broncos v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Welcome to another edition of Tale of the Tape. Today we will be looking at the fan favorite Andy Janovich and how he was utilized in our win against the Houston Texans Monday night.

Back in May when the Denver Broncos drafted Janovich, I did a film breakdown of how Gary Kubiak liked to use the fullback when he was with Baltimore, with fullback, Kyle Juszczyk, who is a very similar player to Janovich.

Some of the creative things he was doing then finally came out Monday night. Must have been due to MHR’s Julie Dixons article!

So how many different ways can we use Janovich? Let’s dive in.

Passing Game

Let’s take a look at my favorite play of the night. We finally saw some bootleg action, and it worked to perfection.

Janovich is going to leak out of the backfield (blue line) while the line is going to block right like a typical stretch zone.

The whole defense is fooled and sucked playside, while Trevor Siemian and Janovich have a ton of open field to work with for a big gain.

Check out the GIF above. Now check out the one below. Which one is the pass?

If you watch the blocking, the plays look nearly identical, aside from alignment, etc. That’s the beauty of this offense when it is clicking: misdirection and balance.

That play worked above, because the defense was honoring the run, and having Janovich on the field signals run more often than not to the defense, so it’s a great play to keep them off balance.

Pounding the rock

Speaking of running the ball...

This is another cool wrinkle they added on the C.J. Anderson touchdown run. Janovich is split out wide at the start of the play, and then motioned into the backfield. He’s followed out by the safety, which indicates they’re in man coverage.

Now that’s less significant on this running play, but is a good tool to use going forward in other situations.

So Janovich is motioned back into the offset I and they are going to set up the run to the offense’s left with Janovich leading the way on the outside and two double teams on the D-line in the middle.

Again, the fullback being on the field created reactions from the defense, especially after they motion him in from being split out wide.

Check out the linebackers and safeties; They are keying in on Janovich leading the way strongside so much so that they flow too hard and leave the cut back wide open.

By the time CJ makes the cut, the linebackerss are already over extended and one safety (#29) is too far down. Couple this with some nice blocking on the backside and you have an enormous hole.

Max Garcia makes a really savvy move against Jadeveon Clowney (#90). Clowney kind of has his gap bottled up at the start of the play but then gets greedy and tries to shoot upfield when he sees the running back start to cut back. Garcia just lets him go upfield and traps him outside, sealing off the entire A-gap for CJ.

Nice execution by the whole line, but it started with the attention the defense gave the fullback on the opposite side of the play, that allowed this touchdown to happen.

Power running

The Denver Broncos broke out a little power running in this game, and it worked out nicely. This not only mixes things up for the offense, but allows Janovich to be at his best - paving the way through linebackers for the running back.

You have a double team on the playside with Garcia pulling around. He’s going to kick out the OLB, while Janovich is going to blow right up the C-gap into Bernardrick Mckinney (#55) and lead the way for a 9 yard gain.

Check out the hit he delivers.

Here’s another great job of him leading and sealing off the edge for a huge gain.

This play happens because of Janovich.

Sweeps

This time we have Janovich lined up in the offset I and motion him out of the backfield into the slot.

Like so.

This allows him to seal the OLB for the sweep while Donald Stephenson takes off to lead block in the second level.

This one, Janovich is split out in a bunch formation and he and Demaryius Thomas block down for the sweep the right again.

So there you go, Broncos Country. Let’s hope we see more of this throughout the rest of the season.

Let ‘The Legend of Janovich’ continue to grow.