5 Carolina Panthers critical to potential culture shift in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

. RB. Carolina Panthers. CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY. 3. player. 87

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers RB

Not having Christian McCaffrey on the field for anything more than 10 games over the last two seasons is a major reason why the Carolina Panthers struggled to get anything going offensively. This is an indictment of gameplan strategy without the All-Pro, which was almost non-existent and the team completely fell into the abyss as a result.

McCaffrey is now officially beginning the first year of his bumper contract extension and will be looking to preserve his health to make a bigger impact. The former first-round pick has altered his approach after a conversation with Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and the Panthers are also being ultra-cautious with their prized asset before the real action begins.

Now one of the senior figures within the locker room, McCaffrey must stamp his mark on the field and also keep morale high away from the gridiron to further heighten his overall influence.

The Stanford product is hugely respected in Carolina and across the league. When he talks, his teammates listen and any positive effect McCaffrey can have in this regard is likely to alter the mindset in a good way.

Of course, relying on McCaffrey to generate 35+ touches every game is not prudent anymore. But there’s nothing to suggest the league’s best dual-threat running back cannot be equally as influential behind a much better offensive line.