CHARLOTTE – Christian McCaffrey is looking forward to a little rest and relaxation during the offseason, and deservedly so after serving as such a workhorse all year.
"I think I've had an issue my whole life of always going and never really relaxing and never kind of taking time off," McCaffrey said before clearing out his locker Monday. "There is a balance between training and resting. I'll take a little bit of time off for sure and ease into it."
But of course he'd prefer to be ramping things up for the playoffs.
"I wish we were playing a few more," McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey's second NFL season was outstanding on so many levels.
The sheer amount of work was remarkable. Week 17 at New Orleans aside, the second-year running back played 97 percent of offensive snaps. From Week 11-15 he played every single offensive snap.
"I was ready for it," McCaffrey said. "I love the game."
Head coach Ron Rivera has talked about trying to reduce his star running back's workload in 2019, but McCaffrey will be preparing himself to play as much as possible.
"What matters is taking care of your body, making sure you're training correctly in the offseason, eating correctly, sleeping correctly," McCaffrey said. "That's all the stuff that I do to make sure I'm ready to go for Sunday on every play in every single game. I think that's my job.
"You look at the great players, and they don't get tired," he added, "they don't hit walls."
Great players also put up great numbers, and McCaffrey certainly did that in 2018.
He finished with 1,098 rushing yards and 867 receiving yards with 13 total touchdowns. He set a franchise record with 107 catches. He even threw a touchdown pass.
McCaffrey was asked about nearly reaching the 2,000 mark for scrimmage yards and almost posting a 1,000/1,000 season in rushing and receiving.
"You said two words: nearly and almost," McCaffrey said. "This game is constantly giving you something to work for."
In other words, McCaffrey isn't satisfied. He never will be.
"I think I had a good year," McCaffrey said modestly. "I would say there's still a lot of things I got to work on. I'm gonna do that for sure. A lot of growth to be made between Year 2 and Year 3, so I'm excited to get better."
View photos as Panthers players clean out their lockers as they mark the end of the 2018 season.