4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 8

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey’s usage

Do you believe the overreliance on Christian McCaffrey was the weakness of the offense? – Corey Richardson II

This is a great question, Corey.

I’m going to answer this right now: I do not believe that an overreliance on Christian McCaffrey was one of the true weaknesses of the offense.

I remember Matt Rhule talking about how good of a player McCaffrey was during the preseason or training camp and the fact that a player of his caliber was so hard to keep off the field. In a lot of ways, that is true.

The former Stanford Cardinal is one of the great talents in this league. His football intelligence is phenomenal and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was on the field a good majority of the snaps this weekend against the Los Angeles Rams.

Not only that, McCaffrey offered a wide array of skills that would benefit any offense no matter how good or bad they are. His vision, patience behind the line of scrimmage, stop-start agility, balance, and second-level burst made him special.

In the passing game, McCaffrey offered some of the best and most reliable hands at his position. The former Heisman Trophy finalist was a dependable receiver and blocker in pass protection. In short, he is arguably the league’s best multi-purpose player at the running back position.

Now, was it McCaffrey’s usage and talent that almost forbid the Carolina Panthers from getting D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard on the field more often? I think so.

Yet, at the same time, McCaffrey offers more as an offensive weapon than Foreman and Hubbard.

Trading McCaffrey was the best thing the Panthers could do for the sake of the team’s future. He was a key piece of the offense and an overreliance on his skill set wasn’t that big of an issue.

Even so, the former No. 8 overall draft pick had a bad contract and an injury history. That doesn’t bode well for running backs and their future with the team.