Colorado promotes Pat Shurmur to offensive playcaller, per reports

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Nov. 3, 2023 4:37 p.m. ET

Offensive analyst and former NFL head coach Pat Shurmur has reportedly been promoted to Colorado‘s offensive playcaller, ESPN reported Friday. Shurmur will take playcalling duties from offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sean Lewis, who will work alongside Shurmur as “co-offensive coordinators.”

The Buffaloes (4-4, 1-4 in Pac-12 play) have lost four of their past five games. Colorado is coming off a 28-16 road loss to No. 19 UCLA in which the Buffaloes rushed for just 25 yards on 24 attempts. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders threw for only 217 yards — his lowest output since the school’s 42-6 road loss to No. 6 Oregon

After the loss, head coach Deion Sanders expressed that Colorado needs to “go get new linemen” this offseason.

The week before Colorado’s bye, it blew a 29-point second-half lead to Stanford (2-6). 

While they’ve been a plus passing team (330 passing yards per game, good for third in the Pac-12), Colorado is averaging just 78.6 rushing yards per game — last in the conference. Shurmur’s first game as Colorado’s offensive playcaller comes in a home matchup against No. 11 Oregon State (6-2 overall, 3-2 in Pac-12 play) on Saturday night (10 p.m. ET).

Shurmur was a graduate assistant/offensive assistant at Michigan State, his alma mater, from 1988-97 before a one-year stint as Stanford’s offensive line coach in 1998. He was then a head coach or assistant on an NFL coaching staff from 1999-21.

Most notably, Shurmur was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns (2011-12) and New York Giants (2018-19). He also served as the interim head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for the final game of the 2015 season. 

Shurmur’s most recent NFL coaching position came as offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos from 2020-21 before he took a year off and then joined Colorado as an offensive analyst for the 2023 college football season.

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