Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey was no stranger to making history in the 2019 NFL season. His versatile skill set as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield has made him one of the most explosive weapons in the league.
Fans have not seen a rare combination like this since Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk was still playing with the then-St. Louis Rams as a part of the ‘Greatest Show on Turf.’
McCaffrey joined Faulk and Roger Craig as the only players in NFL history to top 1,000 rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a single season. Regardless, even the Rams legend admits that there was something special about the fashion he did it in.
Faulk feels McCaffrey has already evolved into a better version of himself, via Bill Voth of the Panthers’ official website:
“He got to watch me. He got to see me. It’s what happens,” Faulk said. “You get to be a better version of.”
Faulk added that McCaffrey did not have nearly as much help as he did during his days in St. Louis:
“He had to do more with less help. I had a lot of help,” said Faulk, who in 1999 was part of a Rams offense that was called “The Greatest Show on Turf.” ”
And how many quarterbacks did (McCaffrey) have?” asked Faulk.
Faulk is optimistic that McCaffrey will be the first player to register multiple 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving campaigns:
“As many times as he can, man. That’s what this game is about,” Faulk said. “Trust me, it’s hard. It is a hard feat. Just think about it — in the whole history of the league, only three guys — think about the guys that are playing running back in this league. Only three guys have done it. It’s such a big deal that they don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it because it’s like, ‘Nobody does that.’ It’s such a big deal.”
This is certainly some high praise coming from Faulk considering his status as one of the greatest all-around running backs in league history. It just goes to show how much respect McCaffrey has warranted from the greats that have come before him.
There is plenty of truth to Faulk’s comments regarding McCaffrey having to do more with less as the central force of an otherwise lackluster Panthers offense. He still somehow managed to find a way to enjoy stellar production despite serving as the focal point of the defense on a weekly basis due to the lack of stability under center.
McCaffrey has set the bar quite high so early in his career and it seems the next step for him now is to join a class all by himself by putting together another year like the one he had in 2019.