The actual scrimmage portion of the Colorado Buffaloes' annual spring football finale had yet to begin, and already Darrin Chiaverini was erupting with mid-season intensity.

In a sight that became common throughout the spring, Chiaverini spent most of an early goal line one-on-one passing drill running with fists pumping into the end zone to join his receivers for the celebration each time they prevailed.

Meanwhile the man who was forced to share a slice of his job description upon Chiaverini's arrival, co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren, remained mostly in the background before donning his headphones and taking the lead play-calling role during Saturday's live scrimmage.

Typically in sports when a critical job is split in half — rotating quarterbacks, platooning first basemen, alternating goaltenders — it's generally because those involved are incapable of shouldering the load alone.

But that's not the case with the Buffaloes and their two-headed coordinating monster of the exuberant Chiaverini and the more cerebral Lindgren. This is an unorthodox situation that just might work.

"They're both great offensive minds," said quarterback Steven Montez. "It helps to see the contrast a lot. With (Chiaverini) there is a lot of hype, a lot of excitement. Hearing it from him and then hearing it from Lindgren, who I've been with and is very mellow, very calm, it's good. It betters my game hearing it from two different people."


While Chiaverini's return to his alma mater was hailed almost as that of a conquering hero, complete with an immediate boost for CU on the recruiting trail and an infusion of energy to a program that sorely needed it, Lindgren has quietly gone about his business in a professional manner, despite a situation some might view as a partial demotion.

It was just one year ago that Lindgren was coming off a record-setting season for the Buffaloes' offense, which continued his rise as a young offensive mastermind that began when he joined head coach Mike MacIntyre's final staff at San Jose State. After a 2015 season during which injuries and ineffective line play contributed heavily to a step backward for the Buffs' offense, Lindgren's star suddenly lost a little of its luster.

Yet if Lindgren's feathers were ruffled at adding another voice to a job he had performed with record-setting efficiency just a year earlier, it doesn't show as he consistently heaps praise on what Chiaverini has brought to the table.

"The spring was great for us," Lindgren said. "We spent a lot of time before the spring just meshing our thoughts and our ideas. I've learned a tremendous amount from Darrin.

"This is the first time in my career I've had to share that deal. It was a learning experience for us both seeing how we wanted that dynamic to be. Particularly the second half of the spring, we really started to settle in to how each other thinks and start to play off each other's thoughts. I'm excited to get through the summer and get into the fall."

It already has been clarified that Lindgren will remain the team's primary play-caller operating during games from the coaches' box upstairs, with Chiaverini serving as the on-field liaison to the players.

During scrimmages this spring the pair have put that dynamic into practice and, despite the lingering uncertainty revolving around possible quarterback transfer Davis Webb, the duo seemingly has found a way to delegate their responsibilities in their shared goal of turning CU into an offensive powerhouse regardless who is under center on Sept. 2 for the season-opener against Colorado State.

In this case, two heads should be better than one for the Buffs.

Pat Rooney: or