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Andy Janovich looking for an expanded role in Broncos’ new offense — again

Every year since the fullback joined the Broncos it seems the team has promised to bring back the relevance of the position. This season it might actually happen.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, fullback Andy Janovich has been waiting patiently for the Broncos to use a fullback in their offense the way they keep promising.

But with Rich Scangarello taking over to become Janovich’s fourth offensive coordinator in four years, this could finally be the Year of the Janobeast.

Andy Janovich profile

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 238 pounds

Age: 25

Experience: 4th season

When Janovich was drafted by the Broncos in 2016, Broncos Country immediately grew nostalgic of the Mike Shanahan/Gary Kubiak offense that made great use of Howard Griffith’s blocking, rushing and receiving talents. In Griffith’s four years in Denver in the late 90s, he logged 68 receptions for 445 yards, along with 117 rushing yards and a total of seven touchdowns.

But the promise of a run-heavy offense, powered in part by a fullback never really came to fruition under Kubiak in2016 and then never gained any steam under Mike McCoy or Bill Musgrave.

So Broncos Country — and Janovich — are salivating somewhat over the possibilities under new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello who comes from the 49ers, working in Kyle Shanahan’s system that took great advantage of fullback Kyle Juszczyk’s ability as a route runner and a blocker.

“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 earlier this month on Orange and Blue Radio. “That guy never came off the field, so I’m excited just to get more playing time.”

The former Nebraska Cornhusker is known for his penchant to deliver hard hits - and enjoy it. And his consistent work ethic plus a “do-whatever-it-takes” mentality about football has earned him the respect of teammates, who rewarded him with a team captain designation in 2018.

Heading into his fourth year — and final one on his rookie contract — this season could be a big test for Janovich.

The good

Although Janovich has never gotten the Howard Griffith offensive stats we’ve all hoped for, his blocking has been second to none - often being the impetus behind many game-changing plays from the Broncos’ offense.

He is a versatile fullback who can do it all — run, catch, block, tackle, and play special teams. He’s also known to be a weight room warrior, and we’ve all seen there’s never a block he won’t take.

But he has been known to be a great rusher and receiver when he’s needed to be.

And when his football career comes to an end, there’s always baseball apparently.

As the home-run derby winner in a recent charity event, Janovich crushed it.

The bad

If there is something “bad” about Andy Janovich, then you tell me, because I don’t see it.

He’s a tough player who works hard, doesn’t mind being in the background to a big play but takes care of business when he needs to be the center of it. His teammates chose him as a special teams team captain for a reason, and his selfless play speaks volumes.

If anything, the only “bad” has been the general game plan that has never taken full advantage of No. 32’s talents.


Janovich had joined Andrew Mason and Steve Atwater last week on “1st and 10” and when Atwater asked what Janovich thought of football today compared to the days of good ol’ smash mouth football, Jano clearly knew he was talking to the Smilin Assassin.

“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.”

Andy Janovich Highlights

Andy Janovich’s roster status with the Broncos

Janovich’s status as the starting fullback is relatively safe, though he could have a little competition from rookie George Alston who would certainly be cheaper in the coming years as Janovich is on the final year of his rookie contract.

But MHR’s Joe Rowles recently classified Jano as one of the Broncos’ important “role players” whose new contract is certainly not going to break the bank. As a 2018 captain and a hard-hitting, tackle-loving baller, Janovich’s status on the team should be safe.

How much he is used is still waiting to be seen.


Is THIS the year of the fullback for the Broncos?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Surely it is (stop calling me SHIRLEY!)
    (245 votes)
  • 4%
    Probably not.
    (28 votes)
  • 57%
    Honestly, I just want it to be the "Year of the Offense" - however that gets done.
    (369 votes)
642 votes total Vote Now