NFC Notes: Christian McCaffrey, Miles Sanders, 49ers, Panthers, Packers


49ers RB Christian McCaffrey said he’s “definitely excited” for the 2023 season given they have a strong offensive line, defense, and several other offensive difference-makers. 

“I’m definitely excited,” McCaffrey said, via 49ersWebZone. “Like you said, it’s a great fit for me. It’s a great fit for, really, any skill player. It’s a great fit for O-linemen, too. I mean, the scheme is so fun. It’s sustainable. It’s worked forever. And I am going to say you still have to execute it, but it’s a lot of fun being able to be surrounded by guys like [TE] George Kittle and [WRs] Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and [OT] Trent Williams, [WR] Jauan Jennings. There’s a great backfield. Elijah Mitchell, who’s a great back, Jordan Mason, Ty-Davis Price, all these guys. [FB] Kyle Juszczyk, who’s one of the best guys I’ve been around. All these guys, man, and then add that defense on top of it.”

McCaffrey also praised their coaching staff with HC Kyle Shanahan

“And then add the staff that we have. It’s exciting. It really is exciting. And I feel like as a football nerd, and as a fan of the game, I have fun going into work every day just learning so much.”

McCaffrey is glad to have a full offseason under Shanahan after being acquired during last season. 

“And it is nice being able to have an offseason under my belt where I can get comfortable with the details and the things beyond the X’s and O’s that I’m not learning game plan to game plan,” McCaffrey said. “So I’m definitely excited to be here, be surrounded by all these guys.”


Packers HC Mike LaFleur has praise for second-year WR Samori Toure but thinks that he needs to work on his skills and become more consistent. 

“We’ve got to continue to build on those and become more and more consistent along the way, but he’s a guy we definitely have high hopes for,” LaFleur said, via “He has the things, the tools necessary, that you look for in terms of being able to separate. He has them in his body, he possesses those. It’s just continuing to get more and more reps.”


When asked about the diminishing market for running backs, Panthers RB Miles Sanders responded players like Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs prove there is high value in the position. 

“It’s nothing that we’re doing wrong,” Sanders said, via The Rich Eisen Show. “We’re doing everything that we have to do as far as on the field and stuff like that. For people and GMs or owners to think that running backs are not as valued as much is a lie because you’ve got to see how everything plays out. You’ve got to see what guys like Christian McCaffrey, the stuff he does, things that Saquon Barkley (does), the things that Josh Jacobs (does) consistently each year.”

Sanders thinks the stigma of running backs only lasting 3-4 years is unfair. 

“You want to franchise tag and create a certain market for running backs just because you have this way of thinking that they only last three or four years. I think it’s B.S., honestly. Almost every running back is underpaid right now. I don’t know what it’s gonna take. That’s a topic that needs to be brought up a little more because it sucks to be a running back right now, honestly.”

Sanders wanted to get his deal done early in free agency because he knew the market was going to fall as time went on. 

“Just to really try to get a deal done because I know that the numbers were dropping literally daily as soon as free agency started,” Sanders said. “Once they made the market $10 million, it was very hard to even negotiate anything even more than that or get like a deal that everybody’s been dreaming of — the Christian McCaffrey deal, the Alvin Kamara deal. It is what it is. It makes me hungrier. I’m a still go and do what I do each year and hopefully earn, force a new contract.”

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