CHARLOTTE – Offseason workouts aren't as demanding as in-season work for NFL players, but this time of year isn't exactly a walk in the park, either.
The heat can be crippling. The lack of game days can make it monotonous.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
For Christian McCaffrey, it isn't that way.
"I've learned to fall in love with the training. You've got guys on our team that love it – looking at guys like Greg (Olsen) and Luke (Kuechly) who kind of fall in love with the process," McCaffrey said. "Being around the guys and being able to train with each other, that's what you love about football – the process."
Viewing every day as a chance to get better can be cliché, but it's truly the way McCaffrey approaches the game. He's not really interested in discussing in detail his offseason workouts, but clearly his dedication is paying off.
"You can always get better. You can always get bigger, faster, stronger and learn more, develop more," McCaffrey said. "Being healthy this offseason was great, being able to just train. And I'm excited to be back to playing football."
McCaffrey and the Panthers are spending one final week together, at a mandatory minicamp, before going their separate ways for an extended break before training camp in late July. As much as is possible with no live contact allowed during offseason training, McCaffrey has looked like the back that threatened to top 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving in 2018.
McCaffrey came within 133 receiving yards of joining Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig as the only 1k/1k players in NFL history, and he admits that entering his third season that it's a goal for him – but not the only goal.
"I've got a lot of individual goals – I think everybody does – but at the end of the day the most important thing for us is winning," McCaffrey said. "Whatever it takes to win. You can have a great statistic day or a bad statistic day, but if you win that's the most important statistic."
View photos from the first day of Carolina's three-day minicamp.