The view from the sidelines isn’t ideal for Colorado quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf, but it is beneficial this season.
Langsdorf has moved out of the press box and is coaching from the sidelines to help freshman, first-time starter Brendon Lewis.
“You just don’t have as good a view (from the field),” he said, “but I think with good information from upstairs and what I can see down there and help him with I think we’ve got a really good thing going with our process in between drives. I think that’s helping him.”
Lewis completed 10-of-15 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown in his starting debut last Friday against Northern Colorado. On Saturday, Lewis and the Buffs (1-0) will face No. 5 Texas A&M (1-0) at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.
A long-time quarterbacks coach and former coordinator, Langsdorf coached last season from the press box and would have conversations with starter Sam Noyer on the phone in between series. This year, Langsdorf believes his presence on the sideline will be impactful.
“It’s a lot different sitting with him in between series and recapping the series and drawing up looks and giving him reminders and just kind of recapping the drive,” Langsdorf said. “I think that part of it is helpful for him. I hope it is.”
Offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini and tight ends coach Bryan Cook are coaching from the press box, along with quality control coach Matt Butterfield. Langsdorf trusts the coaches who are in the box to relay information that he can then give to Lewis.
“I do think with a young quarterback, it’s good to be right there, looking them in the eye and helping them calm down and just talking through some things and not getting too emotional,” Langsdorf said. “It’s a good situation that we have to be able to really talk and I can draw some things for him that he can kind of say, ‘Ok, that’s how I saw it,’ or, ‘I didn’t see it that way.’ So I like that part of it. It’s been really good.”
Going forward, Langsdorf is looking forward to helping Lewis show weekly improvement.
Lewis missed one read and one throw and both of them could have been big plays, possibly doubling the passing yards, Langsdorf said. He also felt UNC presented a couple of unscouted looks that threw Lewis off, and Lewis could have delivered the ball quicker at times.
Langsdorf was mostly pleased, however, especially with the fact that Lewis didn’t have any turnovers. Lewis also changed three running plays during the game that got the Buffs away from UNC pressure.
“That is excellent for a redshirt freshmen in his first start to be right on that,” Langsdorf said. “He graded out well. He did a nice job. Even the little things, carrying out fakes and ball handling, getting us in the right plays, I thought overall for a first start it was just really solid.”
Lewis’ performance also included 44 rushing yards and a touchdown pass on which he scrambled and found Montana Lemonious-Craig in the end zone.
“I loved how he plays with great energy,” Langsdorf said. “He’s got a lot of athletic ability, which he can get us out of some problems. And I thought he threw the ball fairly accurately. … All in all, I thought it was a good first start for a young guy.”
Ralphie taking week off
Ralphie VI, the 15-month old buffalo who made her debut as CU’s mascot last week, will not be at the game Saturday in Denver.
According to CU’s game day information, Ralphie program manager Taylor Stratton was pleased with Ralphie VI’s first runs of her career but does not want to change up her normal running pattern this early in training. CU plans to have Ralphie VI run on Sept. 18 when the Buffs play Minnesota.
It’s been nearly a month since sophomore quarterback JT Shrout suffered a season-ending knee injury. In that time, true freshman Drew Carter has taken advantage of getting second-team reps.
“He’s gotten a lot of reps,” Langsdorf said. “As the (third-stringer), you’re not going to get a ton of work early. He’s gotten all those two reps as of late so I think he’s really come a long ways.”
Langsdorf is impressed with Carter’s athleticism and throwing ability. The task is getting Carter ready with the mental side of the position.
“He’s got to learn our system in a hurry,” Langsdorf said. “We’re just continuing to harp on studying and putting extra time in.”
CU used 11 different offensive linemen against UNC, eight of which played at least 18 snaps. The rotation included Jake Wiley and Max Wray at left tackle, Chance Lytle and Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan at right tackle and Kanan Ray and Casey Roddick at right guard.
“There will be some rotation (going forward) because some of the guys that are kind of doubled up in spots are pretty close,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “It’s like 1A, 1B. Someone has to start the game, right? We start that way, but we still feel like the guys that are in the 1B category, they’ve earned some right … to play as well. We want those guys playing.”