Colorado football alum: Deion Sanders should've received same heat Sean Payton got for 2023 season

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages

Colorado football alum Phillip Lindsay believes that Deion Sanders should've gotten the same level of scrutiny during the 2023 season that his Mile High City NFL counterpart, Sean Payton, got after the Denver Broncos failed to make the postseason.

“We criticized Sean Payton last year for some of the things he did on the coaching side of it,” Lindsay said on “The Drive” (h/t Buffaloes Wire). “There should have been a lot of criticism for Coach Prime and what he brought to the table as a coach in certain situations. That has to get better. And then it’s the unknown of your offensive and defensive coordinators. Are they the right fits for the job?”

Lindsay stressed that CU has a chance to set itself up for success with more wins on the football field, but that it'll come down to Sanders executing on his end.

“This may be (Sanders’) last opportunity with this much attention,” Lindsay said. “If he strikes gold on this opportunity this year with the players that he has in here, his son (Shedeur Sanders) being a first round draft pick, Travis Hunter being a first round draft pick, it can be very special. But it’s not going to come down to those players; it’s going to come down to the coaching. The coaching.”

Deion Sanders not responsible for Colorado football offense

Lindsay makes a good point, though it should be noted that Sanders isn't directly responsible for the team's offensive play-calling; that job is Pat Shurmur's after he was elevated to full-time offensive coordinator this offseason after being promoted to co-OC alongside Sean Lewis midway through the 2023 season.

Lewis's play-calling helped inspire a comeback against USC in Week 5, but the lack of aggression led to their comeback failing. By that same token, the team's inability to eat clock against Stanford in Week 7 led to a blown 29-point lead and the season's worst loss.

Shurmur's play-calling was more effective, with the team's slim losses to Oregon State and Arizona proving that. But it'll still need to be on point all season for Colorado to climb up the standings.