Deion Sanders explains reasoning behind move from Sean Lewis to Pat Shurmur as Colorado play-caller
Deion Sanders declined to elaborate on what specifically led to his decision to hand play-calling duties over to analyst Pat Shurmur ahead of Saturday’s loss to Oregon State, but he did defend offensive coordinator Sean Lewis a bit in the postgame press conference.
The Colorado head coach demoted tight ends coach Tim Brewster this week to make room on his full-time staff for Shurmur, a longtime NFL coach and coordinator who is in his first season on Sanders’ staff in Boulder. Shurmur took over as the Buffs’ play-caller in the 26-19 loss to Oregon State.
Sanders was asked after the game what he felt Shurmur gave CU that Lewis was not providing and said he felt the Buffs just needed to make a change.
“We’re not going to demean Sean Lewis. Sean is a good man. I think he’s a good play-caller. We just needed change at the time,” Sanders said. “We just needed to try something else at the time. And that’s what we did. I don’t look back on it. I don’t second-guess myself whatsoever because there’s more to it than what you may know. Let’s just trust the process.”
Heading into the fourth quarter, Colorado had 78 yards of offense and 12 rushing yards on 15 carries. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders had completed 15 of his 25 passes for 66 yards. The Buffs were averaging 2 yards a play and had only seven first downs to Oregon State’s 21.
Oregon State ended the day with four sacks, bringing the season total to 46 allowed by the Buffs this year. Only Old Dominion (47) has allowed more.
Colorado gave up 23 in 12 games a year ago.
The Buffs have an 11.9% sack rate on the season. Shedeur is being pressured on nearly 40% of his dropbacks. Last year’s 1-11 Colorado team posted a 6.4% sack rate.
Deion said Shedeur is hurt and he received an injection in the fourth quarter so he could finish the Oregon State game. Asked if he received any medical attention at halftime, Deion simply said Shedeur is “fighting through it” but won’t make excuses because “he wasn’t raised like that.”
Asked how he felt about the play-calling in the game against the Beavers, Deion said there’s more to his decision than just what the public sees.
“It’s not just that. It’s that and execution of the play that’s called,” he said. “It’s that and timing of the play that’s called. It’s that and the thought process behind these things. It’s a lot that goes behind that. You guys are just seeing what you see. You’re missing a whole lot of intangibles that transpired for us to be in this situation right now.”