SPARTANBURG, S.C. | Christian McCaffrey remembers running around his backyard as a young boy playing tackle football, dodging his brothers while pretending to be Barry Sanders.
All of those moves have paid off for the Panthers rookie running back.
McCaffrey created quite a buzz during his first week of training camp with veteran players and coaches raving about his athleticism and ability to make people miss. There hasn’t been this much anticipation from fans over a Panthers rookie since 2011 when quarterback Cam Newton was drafted No. 1 overall.
Panthers veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, who rarely heaps praise on anyone — said McCaffrey is “pretty unstoppable” as a receiver coming out of the backfield.
“I can tell you now there’s not going to be anybody in this league that can cover him one-on-one,” Stewart said. “He’s a special player.”
But McCaffrey, who is no stranger to this setting — his father Ed played 12 seasons in the NFL mostly with the Denver Broncos and won three Super Bowls — seems at home on the football field and is taking the attention in stride.
“Anytime I’m on the football field, that’s my comfort zone,” McCaffrey said Tuesday. “That’s my safe place.”
He’s looked plenty comfortable despite missing almost all of OTAs and minicamp due to an NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement rule…
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