“A Really Great Example”- as CMC Continues to Run Full Tilt, 49ers HC Singles Out RB1 as a Benchmark

Published 10/21/2023, 8:21 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Workhorse. Blue chip guy. Engine of 49ers. All of this describes what Christian McCaffrey means to his team. The former eighth overall pick out of Stanford is the epitome of what talent combined with work ethics looks like. Since Week 7 of 2022, no player has been more valuable to his team’s success than CMC. Men in Red and Gold have not lost a regular-season game when he plays for four quarters. That’s what MVP looks like, and who knows it better than Kyle Shanahan himself.

Since trading for him last season, No.23 has not given a single reason to John Lynch and that front office to regret.

Christian McCaffrey’s importance to Niners


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The Niners have been seen as SB contenders for the past five years. However, a team filled with superstars on both sides of the ball felt they lacked one piece that could make them invincible. That piece became available as CMC when the Panthers started 1-5, and San Francisco pulled the trigger. Since landing in Santa Clara, CMC has racked up over 1,900 yards, both receiving and pounding on the ground. It doesn’t come as a surprise as to why the 49ers HC is so fond of him. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported how Thursday marked the first anniversary of the perfect marriage between the 49ers and the dual-threat RB.

When reporters asked Kyle about the importance of Christian, Mike Shanahan’s son did not hold back. He replied, “How dependable he has been, how reliable he has been, how he learns everything, not just the running backs and stuff. So, it’s real easy to put a lot on his plate.” Kyle also raved about his work ethic and reliability. Shanahan praised how he goes after every play as if that’s the biggest play of his life.


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It’s not something new when Kyle talks so highly of McCaffrey. The younger Shanahan took care of McCaffrey back in Denver in the ’90s when Mike Shanahan was HC of the Broncos, and CMC’s father was playing under him. However, some people are worried about the workload Kyle puts on the Stanford product.


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Is CMC getting overworked?

Till last week, everything was working fine, but after McCaffrey went down with an oblique injury against the Browns, questions started pouring in. Fans were already worried about the workload CMC was getting this early in the season, and his injury only made those noises louder. He already has 110 carries along with 23 receptions going into Week 7. The 2017 1st-round pick did not practice the whole week and only did some rehab with his trainers on the sideline.


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Christian McCaffrey is a true warrior, but a team with Super Bowl aspirations sometimes has to protect players from themselves. Kyle and the Niners must be patient with CMC and not rush him back onto the field until he is fully healthy. The five-time SB  champions are still 5-1, but their real season starts come the playoffs, where they would like for CMC to be 100%. What should the 49ers do with McCafrey going forward? Is the heavy lifting done by CMC too much?

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Written by:

Meghraj Singh


One take at a time

Edited by:

Shubhankar Adhikari