McCaffrey thankful to be in ‘special’ 49ers offense year after trade

McCaffrey thankful to be in ‘special’ 49ers offense year after trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SANTA CLARA — Just a week after the one-year anniversary of the 49ers’ trade for Christian McCaffrey, the running back is reflecting on his return to the Bay Area.

“Oh man, it’s meant the world to me,” McCaffrey said Thursday. “Just to be a part of this team, to be a part of this organization. I’m extremely happy to be here. I’m so thankful that they gave up picks to get me here.

“It’s changed my perspective on so many things. I feel like I’ve learned so much. Every day I feel so fortunate to be a part of this team.”

The Oct. 20, 2022, trade was a homecoming for McCaffrey, who spent three seasons just a few miles away at Stanford University. Familiarity eased the All-Pro’s transition to his new team and an offensive system that has been an eye-opener and joy to adjust to.

“Every day I feel like a kid in a candy store,” McCaffrey said. “Just learning all the different ways to run the ball, the purpose behind all of the routes, the pass scheme. I’m just continuing to learn and grow as a fan of the game and a player on this team.”

McCaffrey’s addition to the offense has been a boon for the 49ers, who have lost only four games (including the playoffs) since his arrival in Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season. The offense’s production and winning percentage has increased significantly while McCaffrey’s own performance has been record breaking.

The former first-round draft pick already was a highly decorated NFL star in his own right prior to joining the 49ers, which makes his description of learning Kyle Shanahan’s system even more impactful.

“The sophistication of football for one, and how offensive football looks,” McCaffrey said. “I’ve had a lot of different coaches over my career and I’ve learned a lot. Getting here and seeing how and why they do things is so cool.”

McCaffrey explained that he is continuing to learn more every week from the coaching staff, including legendary running backs coach Bobby Turner, who emphasizes players knowing the purpose of all 11 offensive players on the field for any given play.

As a fan of the game, the veteran running back is continuously learning both to improve his own performance and that of the team.

“I think especially as a running back, anyone who knows anything knows that this is a special offense to be in as a running back,” McCaffrey said. “To learn from these coaches, to be in the locker room with guys like the ones that are here, it’s pretty special.”

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