Over the past month, spring football practices were crucial for the development of several Colorado players, as well as for the new coaches on the staff.

It was also an important time for co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini.

Entering his third year with the Buffaloes, Chiaverini is taking over as the play-caller this year and the 15 spring practices gave him on a jump on his new role.

"It's just me getting in the flow of calling it," he said. "That's really all it is. The offense, we've tweaked it here and there and we've added some pieces to it and we've (mixed up personnel) on some stuff to help us be able to go fast.

"I've been in this offense. It's just a matter of me getting in the flow of calling it."

During the past two years, Chiaverini had input on the play calls, but it was Brian Lindgren - now at Oregon State - making the calls. After 15 practices, including three main scrimmages, Chiaverini said he feels comfortable in the new role.

"The key to getting better at anything is you have to do it over and over," he said. "It's repetition; it's consistency; it's going through your mind with different situations. (Head coach Mike MacIntyre) does a good job of putting the coordinators in situations where they have to call plays.

"It's been a really good spring for me. It's getting my feet back going as far as calling it consistently."


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Chiaverini has made it clear he wants the Buffs to go up-tempo as they look to improve upon last year's numbers. CU was 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring (26.4 points per game) and seventh in yards (417.6 per game).

The Buffs finished just eighth in the conference in rushing (157.2 yards per game) and eighth in pass efficiency (134.4 rating).

CU has more than four months before getting back on the field - the first practice of fall camp is scheduled for Aug. 2 - and Chiaverini said that time will be good for the staff to prepare for the season.

"Now we can watch film (from spring) and see what we did really well and, 'Ok, what do we want to focus on in fall camp?'" Chiaverini said. "We experimented with some different things, but I like the fact that we were able to kind of get our personnel groupings how we see them and now we can build our offense around that going forward."

Chiaverini said having co-coordinator/line coach Klayton Adams by his side has been "invaluable." The addition of new quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper, an experienced coordinator and play caller, has helped, as well.

"(Roper) is a guy that's called plays for a long time," Chiaverini said. "I bounce ideas off him every day. He's a great guy to be around. He's a good football coach, but he's a better person in my mind with the way he just can interact and doesn't have an ego. That's awesome for me."

Of course, the real key is the players. Chiaverini came away from spring pleased with the progress of the entire offense and eager to see how the Buffs' playmakers step up in the fall.

"At the end of the day, kids have to make plays and we know that," Chiaverini said. "If we're making plays at a high level we're moving the ball, good things are going to happen for us."

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