Christian McCaffrey Discusses Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers Offense

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2019, file photo, Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, in Indianapolis. McCaffrey's versatility and superb statistics helped him to a rare double: The Carolina Panthers running back has made The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team at two positions. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey said Wednesday it "means a lot" to get viewed as the face of the franchise following the departures of Luke Kuechly and Cam Newton.

McCaffrey spoke with Jonathan M. Alexander of the Charlotte Observer about all things Panthers heading into the 2020 NFL season, including the arrival of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, saying:   

"I love Teddy. I'm extremely excited to work with him. Obviously he's had success in the past and what he did last year. But also just being able to get to know him this offseason, seeing the way he approaches the game, seeing the way he goes about his business, it's exciting and I'm really excited to share the backfield with him."

McCaffrey led all NFL players with 2,392 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns across 16 appearances during the 2019 season. He signed a four-year, $64.1 million contract extension in April that made him the highest-paid running back in history.

He'll once again lead the offense, which was bolstered by the additions of Bridgewater and wide receiver Robby Anderson. He told Alexander he has high expectations for the unit:

"I think we can be very, very good. I think sky's the limit, it's just a matter of executing. It's a matter of preparing the correct way. Communicating, everybody being on the same page, and going out and executing. At the end of the day, if we do that, the talent is there, but that will get you so far. It's doing all the extra stuff to go the extra mile."

The 24-year-old Stanford product also said he's "excited" for Newton to receive an opportunity with the New England Patriots after the pair spent the last three years together in Carolina:

"I think, in the NFL, it's such a revolving door of a league. You make friends, they leave, you make friends and you leave, whatever it may be. You see guys come and go all the time so I'm excited for him because he's got another opportunity to play and I know he's going to make the most of it. Obviously I love Cam, he's one of my best buds, so I'm appreciative that I got the time I did with him."

The Panthers are looking to bounce back after posting a 5-11 record in 2011. They have qualified for the playoffs just once since reaching Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 campaign.

McCaffrey and Co. are scheduled to kick off the regular season Sept. 13 when they host the Las Vegas Raiders at Bank of America Stadium.