Given a promotion to co-offensive coordinator earlier this month, Colorado's Klayton Adams is looking forward to working with Darrin Chiaverini to get the Buffaloes rolling on offense.

For Adams, that starts with his group up front.

In addition to sharing the co-coordinator role with Chiaverini, Adams is entering his third season as the offensive line coach, and he's got a big task this offseason. The line struggled this season for the Buffaloes (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12), ranking 123rd nationally in sacks allowed (39) and 102nd in rushing yards per carry (3.78).

Continuity was an issue, as injuries to several players and a two-game suspension early in the season to left tackle Jeromy Irwin led to constant shuffling of the lineup.

Along with that, leadership wasn't as strong as it needed to be, Adams said.

"I think we've got to do a better job within that group of having our version of leadership," he said. "Really that position is like its own team. The people that are the leaders in that group need to be the hardest workers, they need to be the model citizens, the best players, and all those different things. We had some breakdowns in some of those areas.

"I think we probably only had one guy that started every game, which speaks to the continuity part of it. There just needs to be better leadership within that room and that's something that I need to work really hard on developing this offseason."


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CU loses three seniors to graduation - Irwin, left guard Gerrad Kough and center Jonathan Huckins - but returns a talented, young group that Adams hopes can take a step forward.

Josh Kaiser will be the lone senior of the group, while there's a strong group of five juniors. Along with Kaiser, juniors Aaron Haigler, Tim Lynott and Isaac Miller return as at least part-time starters. The Buffs hope Lynott - who started several games at center and guard - will fully recover from a late-season torn Achilles'.

The strength of CU's line could be in its youngsters, however. Six of the 16 scholarship linemen will be redshirt freshmen, while three will be true freshmen.

Although the bulk of the group will come into the season with no experience, Adams said it's important to see some leadership develop from the youngsters.

"There's definitely guys that have that ability and it's going to have to happen earlier in their careers than you would normally expect," Adams said. "There's going to be have to be some guys that are redshirt freshmen that say, 'I don't care what the pecking order is, I'm in charge of this thing.' There are definitely guys in that room that have that mentality."

The talent and potential in the young group, combined with the talent and experience in the older group is a good mix as Adams goes into this offseason.

"From that perspective, it's kind of an exciting offseason with the offensive line, because there's not going to be a lot of returning starters, there's not going to be a lot of people that just think, 'Well I've done this and I've done that,'" Adams said.

"There are five spots there that are truly and 100 percent absolutely up for grabs. Those guys need to spend the entire offseason competing for those jobs."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.