CHARLOTTE – There's been so much talk of quarterback Cam Newton needing to exercise patience and trust the process, and the same could be said for running back Christian McCaffrey.
The first-round pick hasn't been happy with his play through the first two weeks of his NFL career. He leads the team in receptions with nine for 72 yards, but he's averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.
"I think everybody is still getting into a little bit of a rhythm," McCaffrey said. "We're 2-0 and not playing that way we've wanted to. That's better than 0-2 not playing the way we've wanted to. Once everybody starts getting on the same page, there's a lot of plays to be made."
McCaffrey was a big-play machine at Stanford, and he's eager to break his first big one at the next level. His longest rush so far is an 11-yarder, while his biggest reception went for 16 yards.
"Just keep pounding away like the motto says," head coach Ron Rivera said. "It's going to happen. It's just a matter of time before it starts to happen. There are a lot of things that are in play right now as a team. A big part of it is seeing what we have and the best way we can utilize all the weapons. We'll find that comfort zone with everybody."
McCaffrey was so close to scoring his first career touchdown last week against the Bills. It was third-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 2:43 remaining, and a touchdown would have sealed the win. McCaffrey was open in the flat, but Newton's throw was off the mark.
That miss led to some nervous moments as Carolina clung to a 9-3 lead.
"I knew he wanted to make that throw and I wanted to make that catch," McCaffrey said. "At the end of the day, we came out with a win.
"The mistakes will get fixed."
View photos from the Panthers' week of practice leading up to their game against the Saints.