Christian McCaffrey looking better than ever during offseason workouts
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is looking better than ever during offseason workouts in readiness for OTAs.
Christian McCaffrey is clearly chomping at the bit to get back down to business. The Carolina Panthers running back missed all-but three games of the 2020 campaign due to ankle, shoulder, and quad problems, which was the first time he’s been absent for a considerable period of the time since joining the organization as a first-round pick.
This has called into question the Panthers’ decision to give McCaffrey a bumper new deal last year, which is always a risk considering the violent nature that comes with taking carries out of the backfield. Although Mike Davis performed well enough in his absence to secure a free-agent move to the Atlanta Falcons, it’s hard to look at Carolina’s eventual 5-11 record and not think the former Stanford star wouldn’t have made a big difference.
While other players are resting up after a long season, McCaffrey has been taking every possible opportunity to get healthy in a bid to hit the ground running when OTAs and training camp rolls around. This determination to succeed has been evident throughout his career and judging by his workout videos, he looks better than ever.
The most recent of these saw McCaffrey taking snaps from Will Grier, who didn’t get much of a look for the Panthers in 2020 under a regime that wasn’t around when the quarterback was drafted.
Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey looks a million bucks.
Simply put, his physique looked astonishing and certainly more capable of absorbing substantial contact from opposing defenders without repercussions. McCaffrey has always had this sort of body, but it’s somehow got bigger away from the field.
The player is clearly eager to right some wrongs in 2021. The NFL is a what have you done for me lately business and people seem to have forgotten just what McCaffrey can do and how valuable he is to Carolina’s chances of success.
Before McCaffrey encountered his injury struggles he was widely regarded as the best dual-threat back in the league. He became only the third player in NFL history to go over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season during the 2019 campaign and was more than worthy of the financial commitment that came his way soon after.
Now, these are just workout videos, where everyone looks great.
However, McCaffrey also has exceptional production on the field to back it up.
There is still plenty of doubt as to just who McCaffrey will be lining up in the backfield with. Teddy Bridgewater’s status as the No. 1 quarterback is hanging by a thread and although his contract is proving incredibly difficult to move, there are still some options available to the Panthers in pursuit of an upgrade.
The speculation regarding McCaffrey being included in a potential trade package for Deshaun Watson has been and gone. That ship has sailed – at least for now – so Carolina will be relying on their face of the franchise heavily in 2021 as they look to make further strides in Year 2 of Matt Rhule’s reign.
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McCaffrey’s mindset won’t accept anything other than excellence next season. There is a big chip on the player’s shoulder and providing there are no further complications, then it should result in some lofty numbers from him once again.