Buffs OC Lewis Pleased With Early Progress

Buffs OC Lewis Pleased With Early Progress

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BOULDER – Colorado offensive coordinator Sean Lewis knows one speed.


Lewis wants the Buffaloes to think fast, move fast and — if all goes well — score fast.

But here we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. Lewis isn’t thinking about next fall or the scoreboard. Nor is Lewis looking ahead and thinking about how the Buffs’ offense will function and execute when it takes the field against the likes of TCU, Nebraska, Colorado State, Oregon or USC.

Lewis thinks about today and tomorrow. He focuses on jump ball, consumed with making sure his players understand the concepts of the offense and are able to process the information they have at a quick pace in a multitude of situations.

With only 15 practices to lay a foundation – and three already in the books – there’s no time to waste.

So exactly how fast is “fast” in Lewis’ world?

Here is his explanation:

“When you run this offense, it’s like riding a bike against an erupting volcano,” Lewis told the media Wednesday morning after the Buffs wrapped up their third practice of the spring. “You can’t think about the bike. get to know the bike. And that’s what our offense is, and that’s what we’re doing right now — we’re learning the bike, we’re learning the offense. We’re teaching them to be elite problem solvers so that no matter what problems present themselves, the guys have the tools, the techniques and the fundamentals to apply them and think fast, know fast, do fast.”

After two days in shorts and helmets, the Buffs donned some shoulder pads and had some real contact Wednesday. The practice was relatively short, but CU coaches were able to get their first glimpse of how their players react in team situations.

“There’s some good, there’s some bad, there’s some ugly, but we learn about each other,” Lewis said. “We’re testing the guys and today was a good test for the first time with the pads on to see who we can trust and see where we’re at – create that adversity and see who reacts in the right way. But I liked the attitude. I liked the approach and the way guys go about it.”

Given the massive roster change — about half of CU’s players have never worn a Colorado uniform in a game — the Buffs are in some ways building from scratch. While there are returning players at most positions, there are also newcomers at each spot.

Most positions are up for grabs. But there is one place where, barring a catastrophe, the Buffs know who will be the starter next fall — quarterback, where Shedeur Sanders (son of head coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders) is already nicely settled into the role.

“He does a very good job,” Lewis said. “He’s done a really good job with all those previous offenses that he’s been a part of, being able to clear that terminology, learn this new terminology fresh so he can process quickly. I think he’s doing a really good job.”

One position of particular interest and importance is wide receiver. The Buffs have several returners with experience at the spot — Montana Lemonious-Craig, Chase Sowell, Jordyn Tyson (injured) and Ty Robinson among them — as well as a competitive group of rookies. That group includes two-way standout transfer Travis Hunter (Jackson State) and transfer Jimmy Horn Jr.

Hunter was one of the nation’s top defensive backs a year ago and could help Colorado on both sides of the ball. Horn told the media earlier this week that he believes he is the fastest player on the team.

No bragging, just fact.

From Lewis’ perspective, it will be the receivers who make the offense go. In his system, they can adjust their routes according to the situation — split-second decisions.

“The total volume they have to run, the amount of information they have to be able to process at full speed,” Lewis said of their duties. “They’re the angels that make it go. I know the trigger man in any system (quarterback) gets all the glory and recognition — probably too much praise and way too much criticism. But the wide receivers are the angels that make it go. “

While it’s certainly early, Lewis believes CU’s wide outs may have the wings to make things happen.

Lewis said Horn is already showing what outstanding speed can do in the offense.

“He can run really fast and run through people,” Lewis said. “He has that elite quality that regardless of all the techniques and fundamentals we give him, he’s picked his parents the right way and he’s good to go.”

Hunter, meanwhile, is still learning the nuances of the position — especially at the Power 5 level.

“He will be able to help us on both sides of the ball,” Lewis said. “He’s got a very unique skill set that’s going to help the team in a lot of different phases. Offensively, he’s got to do a good job of just finding his route because he’s one of the freakiest athletes on any field that he’s ever stepped on. . Now we’re going to get on the field in a very competitive league with really elite DBs. And when he faces a DB as a wide receiver where talent is equal, how are you going to win? That’s where it comes down to techniques and fundamentals in your approach and your work that you do. As he continues to practice the right way, I think he’s going to be able to add some value in all phases of the game.”

Of course, none of the fun happens if the big guys up front don’t do their part of the job. So far, Lewis said, he likes what he sees. The offensive line is another place where the Buffs have some returning players with experience – Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan, Jake Wiley and Van Wells – as well as some experienced newcomers such as Tyler Brown (Jackson State), Yousef Mugharbil (Florida ) and Savion Washington (Kent State).

“They do a great job of learning their calls and playing together as one,” Lewis said. “The biggest thing is we have to put the five best guys who see the front end through the same set of eyes.”

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