30 Most Important Bears of 2022: No. 7 Andrew Janocko
The Chicago Bears are gearing up for the 2022 NFL season, which features many new and returning faces within the organization. There are a number of players, coaches and front office personnel who are crucial to the team’s success this season.
Every day between now and the start of training camp, we’re counting down our 30 most important Bears for the 2022 season. We’ll recap their 2021 season, look ahead to 2022, and address the biggest question facing them this year. .
At No. 7 is quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko, who will be instrumental in Justin Fields’ development this season.
This is a photo of Andrew Janocko of the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team. This image reflects the active Minnesota Vikings roster as of Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (AP Photo)
Position: quarterback coach
Live: 11th grade
Target reached in 2022: N / A
November 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws under pressure from San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arden Key (98) during the fourth quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox – USA TODAY Sports
Over the past seven seasons, Janocko has held various coaching positions with the Minnesota Vikings, including quality control coach, assistant offensive line coach and wide receivers coach. But in 2021, he was promoted to coach the team’s quarterbacks, notably working with entrenched starter Kirk Cousins. The Vikings quarterback is a vested veteran at this point and has been posting Pro Bowl-caliber numbers for some time now. That didn’t change in 2021 when he threw for 4,221 yards and 33 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He also had a quarterback rating of 103, his third consecutive season with a rating of over 100. The best stat of 2021 for Cousins, however, might be that his interception percentage has fallen to career lows. at 1.2%.
It’s hard to gauge just how much Janocko influenced Cousins, but his teammates praised the quarterback early last season. “I haven’t seen Kirk play like this in a long time. He is playing good football at the moment. Said defensive end Everson Griffen. His former head coach Mike Zimmer, who didn’t always compliment him, added to the praise. “I think he is playing exceptionally well. But not only that, he plays with a lot of confidence. I really appreciate the leadership he’s been showing lately. It was so much better, something he wanted to work on. He did a great job with that.
The Vikings won just eight games in 2021, but it’s hard to blame Cousins for the shortcomings of last season. Janocko was instrumental in Cousins’ success last year but will be more instrumental in the development of his new quarterback.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields puts on his helmet during the NFL Football Team’s voluntary minicamp at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill., Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Janocko’s next project will be Fields, who is already showing signs of improvement after his rookie season during the offseason program. Fields changes his footwork and adjusts his outing thanks to coaching from Janocko and new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. Janocko has been impressed with Fields so far in the fullest possible way. He appreciates Fields’ desire to outplay everyone in the building and has seen how smart he is in dealing with the new offense.
During the 2021 season, it was pretty obvious that Fields wasn’t getting the proper training needed to develop to the NFL level. With Janocko now in the building and on his ears, the hope is that Fields can leap forward to become a franchise quarterback with not only the right scheme in place, but the right coaches behind him.
Big question: Will Janocko help Fields become a star QB?
(EDITORS NOTE: caption corrected) Oct 17, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon – USA TODAY Sports
There are other specific questions we could ask, such as whether Janocko will help Fields improve with ball security. Or if his coaching can help Fields get rid of the ball at the right time? But fans want to know if Janocko can help the sophomore signalman put it all together to become a star NFL passer. The truth is that we don’t have a good sense of direction yet.
Janocko is entering his second season as quarterbacks coach and his only starter was already an established veteran. Sure, Cousins has improved in some areas, but what will that look like with Fields, a quarterback still young in his development? Janocko once worked with a rookie quarterback at Minnesota last year, with little to no results.
Quarterback Kellen Mond, a 2021 Texas A&M third-round pick, has failed to impress the coaching staff and has spent most of the year as an inactive participant on game days. He was even passed up for a starting opportunity when Cousins was on the COVID-19 roster. Mond’s inability to move up the depth chart isn’t Janocko’s fault, nor is he on Fields’ level as a quarterback.
Janocko and Fields are saying the right things and the proof of quarterback development is there. Time will tell whether or not Janocko had a lasting impact, but the groundwork is already underway.
30 most important bears of 2022
We’re counting down our 30 most important bears of 2022. Check back every day before boot camp starts.