Report: One of the worst Broncos OCs is now calling plays for CU
Nov 3, 2023, 10:41 AM | Updated: 1:03 pm
The Colorado Buffaloes are making a major change hours before hosting No. 16 Oregon State Saturday night, as Brett McMurphy of Action Network is reporting that Deion Sanders is switching parts of offensive coordinator’s roles.
Sanders will reportedly take Sean Lewis out of the play-calling role and elevate quality control coach and former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur into the role. It will take demoting an assistant to a quality control analyst, which will be somebody other than Lewis, as he’s still expected to signal plays into quarterback Shedeur Sanders.
The junior gunslinger has shot up draft boards and is likely a first-round pick whenever he decides to leave for the NFL Draft. But he has sustained so much pressure in recent weeks, that Colorado’s offense has crumbled. Against UCLA last Saturday, Sanders needed a pain injection at halftime to quell the beating he took.
To some extent, Leiws did do good work, taking the Buffs who had scored 15.4 points per game in 2022 (fifth-worst in FBS) and has got the team to 32.1 (31st in FBS.) But this wasn’t enough for Deion Sanders who expects greatness. Lewis was hired to be an offensive mastermind after making Kent State the fourth-best offense in the sport in 2021 while he was the head coach.
🦬 @DeionSanders on how he feels the relationship between OC Sean Lewis & QB Shedeur Sanders has developed & grown.
Says, “all the coaches are doing a pretty good job.”
Sarcastically called it, “a great try”, and, “a valiant effort.” pic.twitter.com/9PJ7bYkio4
— Mat Smith (@RealMatSmith) October 29, 2023
Meanwhile, Shurmur was at the next level, unsuccessfully coaching the Broncos offense in 2020 and 2021. Among his notable history was the team carrying the ball 16 times for 18 yards, the team’s Kendall Hinton game and practicing incompletions. On top of that, Shurmur may have ruined any chance that Drew Lock would become good, stunning the young quarterback’s development. The Broncos 36.36% winning percentage with Shurmur leading the offense was the worst performance by an offensive coordinator in team history at the time.
Shurmur does have quite the resume for an NCAA OC, going 19-46 as an NFL head coach while leading the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants at points over the past decade. Shurmur is from Michigan and went to Michigan State, where he began his coaching career. After working for the Spartans for a decade, he worked at Stanford in the Pac-10, then made the jump to the NFL.
Shurmur isn’t alone as a former NFL staffer in Boulder, former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and Broncos tight ends coach, Tim Brewster, are also on Prime’s staff.
Even with the overall numbers being decent for Colorado’s offense the cracks started to show as far back as their first loss against USC. The Buffs likely would have pulled the upset on the Trojans had Lewis not messed up. And Lewis and Sanders are responsible for the school’s most epic collapse against Stanford, scoring only seven points in the second half while the Cardinal scored 36.
While Sanders is averaging 329.6 passing yards per contest, CU ranks No. 128 out of 130 FBS programs in rushing offense.
Lewis is tied into the Buffs future plans it seems, with the way they have recruited and it was apparent he was being built up as the coach in waiting if Prime decided to leave.
The Buffaloes are home in Boulder this weekend against the Beavers for the first time since that defeat against Stanford. CU needs to win two of its final four games to be bowl-eligible for the second time in a full season since 2007.
1 p.m. Update:
Pat Shurmur and Sean Lewis will serve as co-offensive coordinators for Colorado, per an ESPN source. Shurmur will call offensive plays and assist with the offensive line. https://t.co/nPuGyaq6vu
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) November 3, 2023