Deion Sanders says he’s not ‘built for’ NFL coaching, Colorado roster cuts were exaggerated

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College Football

Nov. 7, 2023 10:08 p.m. ET

Eventually, Deion Sanders’ sons Shedeur and Shilo will leave Colorado and enter the NFL Draft. But is “Coach Prime” giving any more consider to one coaching in the league where he became a Hall of Famer?

Apparently not.

After repeatedly stating his lack of desire to coach in the NFL as Colorado started 3-0 in his first year at the helm (The Buffaloes went 1-11 in 2022), Deion Sanders doubled down on that stance again in a recent interview with the Dan Patrick Show.

“I don’t think I’m built for the NFL,” Sanders said. “I appreciate the game so much and I respect the game so much for what the game has consistently done for me for a multitude of years that when I see a guy getting paid millions of dollars and he has no respect for the game and does not want to excel and exceed expectations in the game, I’m going to have a true problem. I’m the kind of coach that would go out there with 53 [players, the standard NFL roster size] and come back after halftime with about 32.

“I can’t do it. I’m too brutally honest and I want to win that much. I need everybody to respect the game.”

Sanders believes that love of the game is often clouded when money is involved, a phenomenon he says he is seeing more in college football now with the onset of name-image-likeness deals.

Deion Sanders also reiterated his desire to have Shedeur, Colorado’s starting quarterback, and Shilo, a starting safety on the Buffaloes, to stay with his team one more year before jumping to the NFL.

“They’d better not try to leave Daddy this year,” Deion said.

He says he has not thought about an NFL situation that would allow him to reunite with Shedeur, saying he does not look that far ahead but “it is a great thought process.”

Patrick also asked Deion Sanders about the coach’s infamous “luggage” speech to the remaining members of Colorado’s 2022 team after he initially took the job last December. The Buffaloes later saw an unprecedented exodus through the transfer portal. Only nine scholarship players and three starters remained with the team with a contrasted with over 80 new additions, most of which arrived via the transfer portal. 

Several high-profile transfers to Colorado, including Shedeur, Shilo and two-way star Travis Hunter, followed Deion to Colorado from Jackson state after Deion told Colorado’s players in that initial 2022 meeting that he is bringing some of his own “luggage,” and it’s “Louis [Vitton],” encouraging them to test out the transfer portal. Dozens did just that —247Sports lists Colorado’s outgoing transfers tally at a whopping 57. 

Deion Sanders, however, said most of those players chose to leave of their own accord.

“Maybe 20 kids we sat down with and said, ‘Hey, we may head in a different direction, I don’t know if this will work out,'” Sanders said. “Everyone else quit, Dan.”

When asked why so many players would quit, Sanders compared it to showing up to a basketball court only to find Michael Jordan and the 1992 USA Basketball “Dream Team” practicing.

“I’m sitting up there saying, ‘I don’t know if this is gonna work out for me,'” Sanders said, putting himself in a player’s shoes. “I don’t know if I can play for’ — God bless the late, great [former Indiana basketball coach] Bob Knight —  ‘he’s a little too animated and forthcoming. I don’t know if I could do that.'”

“Now, kids don’t tough it out,” Sanders said. “They shut it down. That’s why we created the portal, isn’t it?  So they could get another option to go do what they really want to do and play like we desire to play.”

Colorado has slowed considerable since its hot start, however. Despite showing flashes of brilliance in September — a win over defending national runner-up TCU, a convincing victory over Nebraska and a furious comeback that fell just short vs. USC — the Buffaloes are 4-5 and have lost their last three games. They need to win two of their next three against Arizona, Washington State and Utah to reach bowl eligibility, which would highlight a drastic improvement in Sanders’ first season at the helm.

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