Christian McCaffrey will have an even bigger role in the Panthers‘ offense this season.
McCaffrey Jimmy Vesey Jersey , the team’s first-round draft pick in 2017, carried the ball 117 times for 435 yards and established a franchise rookie record with 80 receptions. He finished the season with seven touchdowns.
While McCaffrey led the Panthers in receptions, he’ll be counted on to carry the ball more after the team parted ways with its all-time leading rusher Jonathan Stewart. Panthers two-time NFL Coach of the Year Ron Rivera believes McCaffrey is up to the task, saying he can be a running back who carries the ball 200 times this season.
McCaffrey’s durability has been questioned at times because his body build is more akin to a scat back than a power back.
He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry in 2017.
”Yeah, why not?” Rivera said of the prospect of a 200-carry season. ”Everybody forgets that when he was (at Stanford) he carried the ball between the tackles more than anybody and touched the ball more than anybody. I don’t see why not.”
McCaffrey is all for it.
”Obviously anybody on the team wants the ball as much as possible,” McCaffrey said. ”That is football. You should want to compete. But we are here to win football games, so whatever that means and whatever that takes we’re going to do.”
McCaffrey, the son of three-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, likes what he’s seen so far from new offensive coordinator Norv Turner Sean Monahan Jersey , who has taken over for Mike Shula.
He feels ”a lot more comfortable” in his second year with the Panthers, even though he’s learning a new offensive scheme. But he wouldn’t discuss what will be different about his workload this year or in what different ways he will be used under Turner for competitive reasons.
”However they want to use me, that is where I will be,” McCaffrey said. ”I think we have a lot of great talent and a lot of different weapons.”
He won’t be carrying the entire load in the backfield, of course.
The Panthers added depth at running back signing 2017 1,000-yard rusher C.J. Anderson, who played in Denver and helped the Broncos beat Carolina in the Super Bowl in 2015. Carolina is also expecting some added help from Cameron Artis-Payne and Kenjon Barner.
And don’t forget, it was quarterback Cam Newton who led the team with 754 yards rushing and six touchdowns last season.
The 21-year-old McCaffrey enters the season with a new perspective after a ”traumatic experience” earlier this summer.
McCaffrey, his brothers and some friends were in Colorado when they saw an elderly man fall off a cliff while hiking with his 13-year-old grandson. McCaffrey called 911 and one of his friends administered chest compressions.
McCaffrey said paramedics arrived at the scene in about 11 minutes. The 72-year-old Dan Smoker Sr. survived the fall and McCaffrey has developed a friendship with him and his family. He even plans to invite the Smokers to a Panthers home game this season.
”When you see something like that Youth John Moore Jersey , you have a better appreciation for life and take every moment in,” McCaffrey said. ”We had a decompression moment after that. You look at life and realize it can be gone in any split second.”
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady moved the New England Patriots with ease in their Super Bowl rematch against the penalty-prone Eagles, winning 37-20 with a little help from running back James White and fifth-round draft choice Ja’Whaun Bentley.
In his first action since losing in the NFL title game to Philadelphia, Brady completed 19 of 26 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns on Thursday night to help stake New England (2-0) to a 27-7 halftime lead.
Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury after a strip sack that Bentley recovered and ran 54 yards for a touchdown.
White caught six passes for 61 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown, and also ran for 31 yards in the first half of the Patriots’ 37-20 victory. The Eagles (0-2) had five penalties for 50 yards in the first quarter — including two for lowering the head to initiate contact and one for hitting a defenseless receiver — and 97 penalty yards in all.
After sitting out last week’s exhibition season opener, Brady led New England to scores on four of the six series he played.
REDSKINS 15, JETS 13
LANDOVER Artemi Panarin Jersey , Md. (AP) — Sam Darnold threw an interception and showed some of the growing pains of a rookie quarterback in his first preseason start for New York, which lost to Washington on a last-second field goal by Dustin Hopkins.
Darnold threw an interception, took two sacks and had a couple of balls batted out of the air. It was a far cry from the impressive debut in which the third overall pick went 13 of 18 for 96 yards for the Jets (1-1) and looked like the front-runner to win New York’s starting QB competition.
The former USC star played the entire first half before giving way to veteran Teddy Bridgewater. The former Vikings quarterback had his own inconsistences, going 10 of 15 for 127 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Alex Smith was 4 of 6 for 48 yards in one series, his only work so far in the preseason for the Redskins (1-1).
Hopkins made all five of his field-goal attempts, including a 40-yarder as time expired to win it.
PACKERS 51, STEELERS 34
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers needed just one drive to look at home in his first action at Lambeau Field in almost a year.
Rodgers connected with tight end Jimmy Graham for an 8-yard score Philipp Grubauer Jersey , and Tramon Williams had a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of Green Bay’s win.
Five minutes after throwing the pick, Mason Rudolph found JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 4-yard touchdown pass for Pittsburgh (1-1). Rudolph, who is competing with Joshua Dobbs for a backup job, was just 5 of 12 for 47 yards in playing the first half.
Dobbs didn’t look much better after throwing a 22-yard interception returned for a touchdown by rookie cornerback Josh Jackson in the third quarter for the Packers (2-0). But Dobbs finished strong and connected with rookie receiver James Washington for two second-half touchdowns.
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