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Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey on Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, and the 2021 season

McCaffrey joined the SB Nation NFL Show to talk about the coming season and share some music recommendations.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey joined Raichele Privette with the SB Nation NFL Show recently to chat about the NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers, and the upcoming 2021 season.

McCaffrey was available on behalf of BODYARMOR’s ‘One More’ ad campaign, which focuses on the hard work and the determination that athletes put in on a daily basis.

“It was such a fun campaign to launch because I think it holds true to so many different athletes,” McCaffrey said. “And you know, something that’s not just on the field or in training but also off the field as well. And I think it’s just that one more, that strive for greatness, that strive for being better constantly no matter what you’ve accomplished, good or bad. It’s that the constant strive for improvement. So, I think that’s just overall what it represents.”

In addition to McCaffrey, the campaign includes other superstar athletes Baker Mayfield, James Harden, Naomi Osaka, Mookie Betts, Sabrina Ionescu, Trae Young, and Carlos Vela. The memory of one athlete stands out for McCaffrey in the context of this campaign.

“When I think about it, I think of Kobe Bryant, who was obviously one of the original family members of the BODYARMOR team and one of the biggest sports icons and leaders in our generation and in the world of sports,” McCaffrey said. “And he used to say ‘There is no best, there’s just better,’ and I think that’s what the ‘One More’ campaign really resembles.”

McCaffrey also weighed in on the Panthers’ decision to trade Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos.

“Oh, man, I mean, the NFL is such a crazy business,” he said. “You know, guys come and go all the time. Teddy’s a great friend of mine, and was a great teammate — I’m sorry that I couldn’t play with him more. But, I think it holds true to who he is that he’s continuing to get opportunities because of the player he is; because of the teammate he is.”

As a Denver native, McCaffrey was happy to welcome his former teammate to the area.

“And he’s going to Denver and obviously, being from Denver, the first thing I did was hit him up and ask him if he ever needed anything or — I’m sure he’ll be just fine. But that’s my hometown. So I know everybody in Denver is extremely excited to have him, but he’ll be missed here in Carolina. And [he’s] definitely somebody who I have the utmost respect for.”

In addition to shipping Bridgewater to the Broncos, the Panthers traded for former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. McCaffrey’s already working on building rapport with his new quarterback, and they’ve got a history.

“I’ve had the privilege of working out a few different times and played against him at USC. So I’ve known him for a really long time. This was even before we got him, but some of my roommates back at Stanford were defensive players, and said that he was by far the best quarterback that we faced in college. Obviously, the NFL is a tough business sometimes. You can control only what you can control, but when you put on the tape, with Sam, you realize how good of a player he is, and all the different plays that he can make. So I’m extremely excited to have him here. I think he’s going to do amazing things. You’ve got all the talent in the world, and you’ve got the right mindset and a great leader. So definitely excited to share the backfield with him.”

McCaffrey is entering his fifth season in the NFL and with the Panthers, and the injuries he fought through last year have shaped his perspective heading into this year.

“I love football so much. And I think the biggest thing is, I have a new perspective of the game after last year and being hurt. And so I’m just looking forward to playing again,” McCaffrey said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve felt 100% playing football and had to sit out a large portion of the season last year, and that was really tough on me. So I think the biggest thing I’m excited about is just to play — you know, to get out there, and do you know what I believe I was put on this earth to do, and play football.”

If McCaffrey had been coming out for the draft this year, he has some idea of what his celebration playlist would be.

“I’ve definitely got to put Drake in there if I’m celebrating,” McCaffrey said. “For sure. I’ll put Drake in there. I’m going to give you three different genres if I’m celebrating like that. I’ll go Drake, and then II’ll probably go Tiago, who’s an EDM artist, and then I’ll go Zach Bryan, who’s a country artist. So I’ll put those three together. There’s three different genres, three different artists that I absolutely love. So probably those those three are the artists that I would shuffle their songs.”

You can, and should, listen to the interview in its entirety on the SB Nation NFL Show.

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