Hopefully, Colorado football fans are ready for the return of Pat Shurmur. No, not the Denver Broncos, but the CU program led by head coach Deion Sanders. Sanders hired Shurmur as an analyst in the offseason, and now it looks like Shurmur is being promoted to full-time play-caller in Boulder.
It's really not a surprise that Shurmur's name hasn't popped up a ton since the Denver Broncos moved on from Vic Fangio in the 2022 offseason. Shurmur was last an offensive coordinator in 2021 when he was still on the coaching staff of the Denver Broncos, but the way he called plays in Denver didn't exactly have teams lining up to hire him after that coaching staff was disbanded.
Shurmur had some absolute all-timers of quotes in his media sessions while he was a coach of the Denver Broncos, including admitting at one point that he was running a drill in which they were intentionally practicing incomplete passes.
It's pretty incredible when you think back to that time and how precious every rep was in the 2021 offseason, when the Broncos clearly weren't trying all that hard to develop Drew Lock at the time. Shurmur had another incredible clip from his time with the Denver Broncos in which he made it clear how little of a fan he is of analytics. He quipped to the media that the only really important "analytics" are points and wins, and whether you can score at least one more point than the other team...
The fact that he dumbed down analytics as simply helping to "tell the story" of a win or a loss is mind-boggling. It just doesn't seem like the vibe Pat Shurmur has given off to Broncos Country would really fly -- in the slightest -- with Deion Sanders and what he preaches at Colorado.
Which is why his promotion to offensive coordinator is such a shock at this point. Hopefully, Colorado football fans are big fans of running plays on 2nd-and-10.
With all due respect to Pat Shurmur, his time in Denver was rough. The Broncos were 28th in scoring in 2020 and 23rd in scoring in 2021. It was in Shurmur's offense that Jerry Jeudy infamously quipped about getting his "conditioning" in during games because Shurmur was using him as a decoy in the backfield more than as an actual wide receiver.
Ultimately, the failure of Drew Lock as a starting QB in the NFL fell on Shumur's shoulders as the Broncos replaced Rich Scangarello in the 2020 offseason in favor of the veteran play-caller Shurmur. Not that Scangarello was other-worldly as a play-caller, but we saw a better stretch of play from Lock in his offense back in 2019 than really anything we saw Lock being asked to run with Shurmur in 2020, when the Broncos had a whopping 32 turnovers as a team, the worst mark in the NFL.
It will be fascinating to monitor the Colorado program now and see how much Shurmur has changed (or not) in 2023.