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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ John Lynch praises Christian McCaffrey: “He’s been a godsend”

Jan 18, 2023 at 8:56 AM


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Looking at the roster in October, the San Francisco 49ers decided to go all-in. The coaches and executives already believed in the talent level. For whatever reason, the 49ers were sitting at .500, though. So the team traded for star running back Christian McCaffrey.

Since then, the 49ers have lost just one game. It was McCaffrey's first game in a Niners uniform, where he had about 48 hours to prepare. San Francisco has won 11 consecutive games since, including this past weekend's Wild Card playoff win against the Seattle Seahawks, setting the stage for Sunday's showdown with the Dallas Cowboys.

The fact that the 49ers haven't lost a game in which McCaffrey has started probably isn't a coincidence. The running back has proven to be a difference-maker in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

"He's been a godsend," general manager John Lynch said on 95.7 The Game's The Morning Roast. "I'll tell you, everything you see on the field, you think you know a player, and then it's always you have a little bit of a different reality when you see him up close, when they're on your team.

"He's just as good as we ever thought he was on the field or better. I think the intelligence that he plays with is really just elite; his skill, his versatility, all that. But I just think the commitment to being that player is probably what you don't know from afar."

McCaffrey finished the season with 1,880 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns. A total of 1,210 yards came after he arrived in Santa Clara, with all but three of his touchdowns coming after the trade.

"This guy, I tell people all the time, he works coaches hours," Lynch continued. "He's here in the morning when you get here. He's still here when you're leaving. He's just so impressive."

Lynch adds that having McCaffrey on the roster gives the 49ers even more confidence than they already had. If defensive end Nick Bosa is the team's game-wrecker on defense, McCaffrey is the equivalent on offense.

The general manager was also impressed with how quickly McCaffrey assimilated into his new team.

"It was like he was an instant leader," Lynch explained. "He just fit really well. And we always felt like this was a guy who we admired as we started thinking and started hearing that he might be available. You start thinking, Wow, this is a guy—we really like where our offense is at. Do we need to do something? No. But ... if there's a guy to go get, this is a guy who could ... unlock what we do and make us even more tough to deal with.

"I think the results have been tremendous, and I can't say enough about the way he prepares. So it's been a great example—the productivity has been great. It's really been a nice deal for this organization."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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