Despite challenges, Pat Shurmur pleased with growth of CU Buffs offense in spring

Despite challenges, Pat Shurmur pleased with Growth of CU Buffs offense in spring

During spring, new Colorado offense coach Pat Shurmur had to make lots of changes.

Just a month back, Shurmur talked about more than just setting up the offense. He also talked about figuring out how to make the most of each player’s talents on the team.

As spring progressed, the team’s lineup shifted. Shurmur had been working with Dylan Edwards, a fast and skilled running back who he praised as “very dynamic.” But just this Tuesday, Edwards decided to leave the team and enter the transfer portal.

Early in spring, Alton McCaskill IV and Chamon Metayer, who played as running back and tight end, were also part of the team before they decided to enter the transfer portal.

Shurmur, an experienced coach, remains steady despite challenges.

Shurmur shared, “We work with what we’ve got. When players change, our plans change too. So, we adapt daily, figuring out who’s ready for the next practice. It’s about making the most of what we have each day.”

“The way I looked at it and we’ve always done is you’ve got to fight with the army you have,” Shurmur said Thursday after the 14th of CU’s 15 spring practices. “So all of a sudden you don’t have those pieces as you plan the next practice. … So what we try to do then is, OK, we look every morning or every evening and say OK, what’s available tomorrow?”

He mentioned that on Tuesday, they only had one running back who was fit for practice.

“So, I thought, ‘Alright, no problem. Let’s switch to a 10-person setup, add an extra wide receiver, and keep running plays,’” Shurmur explained. “It’s pretty neat how that works, you know? Because in a real game, someone could get injured on the first kickoff, and suddenly, we’ve got to switch up our strategy.”

As some players leave and others haven’t arrived yet, it’s been tricky to set up the offense and plan for the upcoming season. Still, Shurmur’s happy with how the Buffs are rolling with the punches and adapting to the changes each day.

“It’s like training your brain to switch gears and move on to the next task,” he explained.

Thankfully, Shurmur and the Buffs have had important players like Shedeur Sanders and the offensive line consistently attending spring practices. This has fostered growth within the offense, especially with experienced receivers like Travis Hunter, Jimmy Horn Jr., and LaJohntay Wester in the mix.

“We’re mainly focusing on training the guys who’ll stick around for the fall,” he mentioned.

Despite facing a few hurdles, Shurmur’s been pleased with CU’s offensive progress this spring. Alongside Shedeur Sanders and key players grasping the playbook, the other coaches have had a whole spring to understand Shurmur’s strategy, which is a positive development.

“The new players coming in will have videos of our previous plays,” he explained. “Our coaches know our system well, so they’ll catch on fast.”

“Nowadays, with college football, a lot happens in June and early July. Instead of preparing the entire team, we’re focusing on developing specific parts around the ongoing progress of the team.”

Shurmur noted that despite a couple of players leaving, the development has been positive as the Buffs gear up for Saturday’s spring game.

“I think we’ve had 13 really solid practices,” Shurmur shared. “Today, our offense was a bit average. The defense gave us a good challenge. It’s a reminder that every day, we need to bring the right mindset to the field. We need to execute our plays well, run effectively, and score when we’re in the red zone.”

“Overall, we’ve made good progress with our system, player improvement, and teamwork. That’s where we stand right now.”

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