Deion Sanders has his man, steals NFL assistant for DC gig

Feb 7, 2024, 4:19 PM | Updated: 5:27 pm

The 2023 calendar year ended with Deion Sanders losing his defensive coordinator Charles Kelly for the same role at Auburn. Coach Prime kept hinting that the replacement was coming soon, and almost six weeks later it appears the Colorado Buffaloes have their guy.

Ian Rapoport from NFL.com is reporting that Cincinnati Bengals secondary coach Robert Livingston will leave his NFL post for Prime’s defensive coordinator gig at Colorado.

The young coach just finished his eighth season on the staff of the Bengals, where he spent six years focusing on safeties—most notably under defensive mastermind Lou Anarumo over the past several seasons. Livingston graduated from the Bengals scouting department after playing 34 games in college for William & Mary.

The best Colorado connection for Livingston may be the premier player he’s coached the past few seasons, Chidobe Awuzie. Chido was one of the best defensive backs in Buffs history so can he can vouch for the DC his alumni are getting, led by one of the best cornerbacks of all-time in Sanders.

In 2022, the Bengals were third-best in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed and this past season they intercepted the eighth-most passes.

“It’s going to be exciting, somebody who is going to let you guys play,” Colorado assistant coach Vincent Dancy said in a vlog earlier this week when teasing the team about the new DC.

Here’s an old interview with Livingston, who there is a very limited amount of info about on the Internet. Certainly joining Prime’s staff will get his name out there in a big way.

YouTube video

The multi-sport star, Sanders, has talked about his love for Cincinnati—spending the longest stay of his baseball career with the Reds. He says he would’ve played for the Bengals had they ever called him back. Instead, he mostly played with the Cowboys and a bit for the 49ers as well as a retirement from football while playing for the Reds.

Among some of Livingston’s other best works are coaching Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell, two standout safeties in the AFC North. Cincinnati held opposing passers to a league-low 58.9 completion percentage in 2022. In 2021 Livingston coached in the Super Bowl, as Cincy reached the game but lost to Kansas City. From North Carolina, Livingston has some good ties to the south, including focusing on the ACC and SEC when scouting in the NFL. That familiarity should help Sanders and the Buffs in recruiting a key location for the team’s future.

For now, Livingston will have to make quick work given spring practices for the Buffaloes are about five weeks away.


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