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Longtime NFL coach Pat Shurmur promoted to co-offensive coordinator for Colorado, AP source says

DENVER (AP) — Deion Sanders is promoting longtime NFL coach Pat Shurmur to the role of co-offensive coordinator of the Colorado Buffaloes, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because there has been no official announcement. Shurmur, who was on Sanders' staff this season as a quality control analyst, will share the role with current coordinator Sean Lewis. Both will be involved in play-calling duties Saturday night when the Buffaloes (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12) host No. 16 Oregon State (6-2, 3-2, No. 16 CFP) at Folsom Field.

The Buffaloes will need to juggle the coaching staff so Shurmur can don a headset, but no decisions have yet been made. He will also help with the offensive line.

Colorado is tied for sixth in the league in scoring offense, averaging 32.13 points per game. The team has struggled with its running game, ranking last in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes have also struggled with protecting quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who's been sacked 41 times this season.

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Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes started 3-0 in his first season in Boulder before dropping four of their last five. He's overhauled a 1-11 team from a season ago through the transfer portal, but the Buffaloes still have work to do up front.

He was critical of the offensive line after a 28-16 loss at No. 20 UCLA last weekend. It led to him saying, “the big picture we go get new linemen. That’s the picture and I’m going to paint it perfectly.” He softened his stance later in the week, though, after a meeting with the group.

“I believe in the staff we have on hand and that they can do it. I have the utmost faith in them,” Sanders said. “You’re going to see a more cohesive, more aggressive, more physical, more prepared group than ever before this weekend.”

Shurmur was the head coach of the New York Giants in 2018 and '19 before spending the next two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. Shurmur, who also was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns for two seasons, joined Sanders’ staff this season.

Lewis arrived in Boulder from Kent State, where he served as the head coach for five seasons and went 24-31. The Golden Flashes went to two bowl games under Lewis.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football