Rams’ Great Marshall Faulk on Christian McCaffrey: “He’s a Better Version Of Me”

Christian McCaffrey with Panthers in December 2019. Photo by John Mersits/CSM/Shutterstock

Carolina Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey had a great regular season in 2019 despite the struggles of his team. The 23-year-old earned Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro honors, while also becoming only the third player in NFL history to have 1,000+ yards rushing and 1,000+ yards receiving in a single season.

Rams’ legend Marshall Faulk, who was the last player to achieve this feat in 1999, knows how hard it is to get to this mark. This is why he recently told Panthers’ website that he considers McCaffrey, whom he called “phenomenal,” a better player than he was. 

“He’s a better version of me,” Faulk stated. “He got to watch me. He got to see me. It’s what happens. You get to be a better version of.”

In 1999, Faulk rushed for 1,381 yards while adding 87 receptions for 1,048 yards en route to AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. He, however, was part of “The Greatest Show on Turf” Rams’ team at the time and acknowledges that McCaffrey faced larger obstacles to achieve his feat.

“He had to do more with less help. I had a lot of help,” Faulk added. 

Before Faulk and McCaffrey, Roger Craig was the first player to have 1,000+ rushing yards rushing and 1,000+ receiving yards. Craig did this in 1985 as a member of San Francisco 49ers, finishing the year with 1,050 yards rushing and 1,016 yards receiving.

While Craig and Faulk had Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Joe Montana and Kurt Warner respectively to help them, Christian McCaffrey played with three different QBs, including a second-year player in Kyle Allen and rookie in Will Grier.

McCaffrey ended the 2019 season with 1,387 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, while also adding 116 catches for 1,005 yards and four TDs.