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McCaffrey: Armah is one of our most improved players


CHARLOTTE – Who better to ask about fullback Alex Armah's progress than the guy running behind him?

"I think he's one of the most improved players on the entire team," running back Christian McCaffrey said.

That's what it looked like Friday night against the Dolphins.

Armah, the 2017 sixth-round pick from little known West Georgia, was punishing opponents who had the unfortunate task of colliding with him.

It started with the second play from scrimmage. Armah motioned right in the backfield before squaring up and driving back Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake to help spring McCaffrey's 71-yard touchdown run.

"He's always been a physical specimen. He's always been able to hit extremely hard," McCaffrey said. "It's really cool to see him out there ballin'. I know he's going to have a hell of a year."

Armah's barrage on the Miami defense continued well into the second half, as the 6-foot-2, 255-pound fullback helped pave the way for running back Kenjon Barner to compile 72 yards on just five attempts. All told, Carolina recorded 226 rushing yards against Miami -- thanks in large part to Armah's efforts.

"It's really rewarding," he said. "Not everybody can play that position, so I take pride in it."

It's a position that's being utilized less and less in today's NFL, but Armah is proving its worth with every bone-jarring lead block.

"He's been solid. He really has," head coach Ron Rivera said. "There's a guy that's played linebacker and played tight end/fullback in college. We're giving him a shot at the fullback position. He's grasping it. He's done a terrific job."

A better grasp of the offense and his role in it has led to more confidence.

"I'm pretty sure it's starting to show up, too," Armah said.

It is.

And while his role may be considered "dirty work," Armah is eager for more. The fullback isn't extinct yet.

"He loves it. He handles it very well," Rivera said. "He's one of those guys that plays with an edge. It's a lot of fun to watch."