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Christian McCaffrey ‘better than’ new Panthers offensive coordinator thought he was

Christian McCaffrey, Panthers

If you still find yourself in disbelief when watching Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey play football, then you’re not the only one. 

Panthers new offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who is working with the 24-year-old running back in training camp ahead of the 2020 season, admitted that “He’s better than I thought he was,” according to ESPN’s David Newton. And it’s not like Brady, who joined the Panthers after three years as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach of the LSU Tigers, hasn’t praised McCaffrey before they got to work together. It’s just that seeing him up close was different from watching him from afar. 

Last year, McCaffrey, who was selected by the Panthers with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, joined Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL history to finish with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. This summer, he signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension to remain with the Panthers, making him the highest-paid running back in league history. 

But while McCaffrey decided to remain in Carolina, the rest of the team was in flux, with quarterback Cam Newton being replaced by Teddy Bridgewater, linebacker Luke Kuechly retiring as a player and rejoining the team as a scout, and Matt Rhule taking over for former head coach Ron Rivera.

Brady, 30, hopes to maximize McCaffrey’s talents in his offensive schemes as the Panthers look to improve on their 5-11 record last season and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2017.