Andy Janovich has the kind of mentality you'd hope for in a fullback, but as a rookie he has a long ways to go before he will fill that role completely.
The Denver Broncos zone blocking scheme really should have a fullback that can handle a serious load of blocking assignments. Gary Kubiak and John Elway hoped to have found that guy when they drafted former Nebraska Cornhuskers fullback Andy Janovich.
Fullback is no longer considered a necessity by a majority of the league today. Many teams won't even carry one on the roster. However, Kubiak loves running the football and his offense still relies heavily on a fullback to open up those running lanes. Enter Janovich.
The whole fullback position is a dying breed and they don’t draft fullbacks in the early rounds or sometimes not even in the late rounds, really.
"It’s just a lot of learning right now," Janovich said of rookie minicamp. "You get a change to meet with the coaches in the mornings and afternoons and then study the playbook at night. That’s really the chance you get to help you get it down a little bit better. It’s just been a huge learning experience so far."
Janovich will play a more prominent role on Special Teams in 2016, with an eye to his fullback future.
"I’m going to go out there and give it my all," Janovich said of playing on special teams. "I would like to be a core special-teams player and get out there and be on all of them. You have to take the field every day with the mentality that you’re going to beat the guy in front of you."
“I’m going to run my head into somebody and see what happens” - Broncos FB Andy Janovich. Spoken like a true FB.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) May 7, 2016
That is exactly what Elway means when he calls a guy a 'real throwback'. In an era of concussion mania, it takes a rare breed to throw all that aside and want to 'run his head into somebody'. I would chalk it up to figure of speech and he actually means perfect form tackling on special teams and quality technique in the run blocking game. Right?
Janovich expected to be playing in the NFL, but being drafted came as bit of a surprise considering the overall lack of interest in the position he played.
"I really had no idea," Janovich said of the draft. "The whole fullback position is a dying breed and they don’t draft fullbacks in the early rounds or sometimes not even in the late rounds, really. I think three went in this draft. It’s just a little nerve-wracking. I thought I would get picked up somewhere but I wasn’t sure about the draft."
Well Broncos Country is certainly happy to see Janovich in the orange and blue. You can never have enough fearless tough guys out on the field. And Janovich certainly fits that bill.