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Carolina Panthers

Christian McCaffrey proves he can do it all on Good Morning Football

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Christian McCaffrey's record-breaking season had fans comparing him to just about everything.

Whether it was other running backs, like Marshall Faulk or Roger Craig, inanimate objects (See: wrecking ball, lightning strike), or fictional heroes like Superman or Sonic the Hedgehog, there were no shortage of nicknames for CMC in 2019.

McCaffrey earned a new comparison Thursday, though, when Good Morning Football host Kyle Brandt dubbed him like Jon Snow, saying, "You can do it both south and north of The Wall." Of course, Brandt was referencing McCaffrey's ability to rack up yards on the ground as a runner as well as out of the backfield as a pass-catcher.

For McCaffrey, earning a comparison to the "Game of Thrones" hero was the best compliment yet.

"That's the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me," McCaffrey joked.

McCaffrey has been making his rounds in Miami this week before Super Bowl LIV kicks off Sunday, and his schedule will include a stop at the NFL Honors Saturday night, where he's nominated for Offensive Player of the Year.

"It'd be a huge honor. Anytime you win an award it's an honor," McCaffrey told the GMFB crew. "Just to be up for it definitely means a lot. I've lost enough awards, though, in my career, I realize that at the end of the day it's about playing football, going out there and winning games. I used to tell myself when I lost a few awards, 'This stuff doesn't even matter,' so, if I said that then, when I win, I've got to hold true to that."

Whether McCaffrey takes home the hardware on Saturday night or not, nothing can take away from the stellar season he put together in 2019. Among the many rewritten records, McCaffrey's most impressive feat was becoming just the third play ever to join the elusive thousand-thousand club, tallying 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards.

"It's always been a goal of mine," McCaffrey said. "I think when you look at guys like Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig, the other two that have done it, two of the best to ever do it, they set a pretty high standard. I take pride in being a complete back who can catch the ball out of the backfield, run routes and stay on the field and be a three-down back."

McCaffrey's insistence on being such a well-rounded back is exactly what makes him, and many other backs around the league, so integral to their teams' success. When the GMFB crew asked McCaffrey his thoughts on critics saying the value of running backs is diminishing, his response was pretty passionate.

"I would highly disagree," McCaffrey said. "I think that's a pretty absurd statement, just due to the fact that you look around the league and you see what some of these teams' main weapons are and how they're using guys, and it's at the running back position. You talk about guys like (Alvin) Kamara, like Saquon (Barkley), like Zeke (Elliott), like Todd Gurley, these different backs around the league who are doing special things week in and week out."

After being named the most versatile player in football by the hosts of GMFB, McCaffrey capped his time on the show with a series of challenges to test his skills, including cup stacking, trivia and hula hooping.


On new head coach Matt Rhule:

"When you look at his press conference, I think that spoke for itself. You look at his resume and being a guy who's had a history of turning teams around who are struggling, as a player, it's fun. We have such a good team, we have a lot of good guys, a lot of good leaders, good veterans, good young guys, so it's an exciting team to come into."

On the status of quarterback Cam Newton:

"Cam's a guy for me who when I came into the league, he was the quarterback. Obviously, with injuries, he's unfortunately had to miss some games and hadn't been playing 100 percent. When Cam's at 100 percent, he's one of the most fun guys in the league to play with and to watch on the field, so for me, that's my guy. I love him and I'm really hoping that he gets back healthy so we can go out there and do what we know we can do."

On his partnership with USAA to bring Sergeant Major Luis Leiva to the Super Bowl:

"It's really exciting. I partnered with USAA and gave Sgt. Maj. Leiva two Super Bowl tickets. He's actually the only active-duty military member that we gave tickets to. It's a cool event. We have so much appreciation for the military and it's something that anytime I have the opportunity to give back to the military in any way, I do it. This was a fun thing, because like I said, it's the first time it's an active-duty Marine. They do so much for us and are very underappreciated, I feel like, so any time I'm able to give back, I enjoy it."