It’s easy to love Andy Janovich.
Even if the guy is not an obvious playmaker within the Broncos offense year to year, it’s obvious plays get made because of him on the offense.
And his mentality about playing the game of football gives you an idea why. Steve Atwater asked Janovich what he thought of how football is played today compared to the early years, and it was pretty clear, Jano thinks the game - and even the players - have gotten soft.
“Just watching football back in the day...those guys were just tougher than dirt,” Janovich said, adding they’d play every snap, and if they got hurt, they’d just get taped up and get back on the field. “Nowadays, when they get a little nicked up, you haul em off the field and try to take care of them a little more. For me, I try to play like the old days as much as possible. Just go out there and kick the crap out of the guy you gotta go hit.”
The reply got a nice chuckle out of Mase and Atwater, who added, “that’s just the mentality of a fullback.”
And Janovich loves that mentality.
As a former Cornhusker, the fourth-year fullback for the Broncos still loves to watch tape on former Husker fullback greats like Cory Schleslinger and the Makovicka brothers, Jeff and Joel.
“Those guys were just mean, and they were fun to watch,” Jano laughed, sharing a story from former Broncos’ special teams coach Brock Olivo about how Schlesinger once cracked the helmet of a player and knocked him out. “That’s just crazy.”
Seth Emerson of The Athletic recently wrote about the “dark ages” of the fullback position, arguing that where it once was “the face of the hard-nose offense,” now the position has “diminished on all levels of the game, from high school on up to the NFL.”
Statistically this may be true, but Janovich is excited about having more relevance in the Broncos offense with Scangarello on board now. Looking at how Scangarello and Kyle Shanahan used fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the 49ers offense, Janovich sees a lot more opportunity for his position in 2019.
“A lot of stuff [Juszczyk] did, I can do. I can block. Whatever route running they’ll have me do, I think I can do it,” Janovich said. “That guy never came off the field, so I’m excited just to get more playing time.”
And like just about every other Bronco who has spoken to the media in the last month, Jano is totally on board with how head coach Vic Fangio is approaching the offseason with his new team.
Jano believes the Broncos always had the talent but just couldn’t put it together during the game because of little things, details.
He doesn’t think that’ll be a problem this season.
“We still have the same tools, but now we’re focusing more on the details and doing the little things right. That’s what we were lacking,” Janovich said, adding that not getting the details right is what kills team’s chances in a close game - which was basically the story of the 2018 Broncos. “Fangio focuses on details in meetings, and then he harps on it in practice.”
For example, Jano said, the team has done the two-minute offense/defense every single practice, and they do it for 15 minutes.
“He wants us to be the best two-minute team in the NFL,” Janovich said. “He beats it into our heads every day. That’ll easily win you more games.”
And when Atwater asked Jano if he thought Training Camp could be as intense as OTAs and minicamp have already been, Jano didn’t skip a beat.
“Absolutely,” he said, adding that they had been running over 100 plays each day so far.
Atwater was amazed: “You’re going to be in great shape then, too.”
Janovich had 8 catches for 112 yards in 2018. Kyle Juszczyk had 30 for 324. Will Jano get over 300 yards in 2019?
This poll is closed
Who cares? Just let him go kick the crap out of the guy he has to hit.