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Christian McCaffrey embracing 49ers’ rich history, praises Brock Purdy

Dec 10, 2023 at 11:49 AM--

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The San Francisco 49ers boast a storied history filled with Hall of Fame players and Super Bowl championships. He fully embraced this rich tradition when the Carolina Panthers traded the running back to the 49ers.

"I think you have to," McCaffrey told FOX Sports' Greg Olsen ahead of Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. "I think you don't really understand it until you're here, but seeing the names on the wall, seeing the five Super Bowl trophies, knowing the history behind who's played here, I don't think you have a choice but to embrace it."

McCaffrey hopes to contribute to the 49ers' trophy case. This ambition could materialize as soon as this season, with San Francisco being the favorite to win Super Bowl 58 in February.

Last season, McCaffrey joined an already-talented roster that had earned trips to the NFC Championship Game in three of the last four seasons. Had it not been for an injury to quarterback Brock Purdy, the 49ers might have secured their sixth championship.

When asked about playing in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, McCaffrey responded, "From a running back standpoint, it's a dream to play here, in this scheme and this offense, with a mind like that. It's a dream."

Reflecting on his accomplishments this season, McCaffrey believes his 2023 campaign may be his best yet. While he totaled 2,392 all-purpose yards in 2019, his third NFL season, that Panthers squad finished with a 5-11 record. In contrast, the 49ers are among the NFL's best and aim to earn their fifth consecutive win with a victory over the Seahawks.

"I think when it comes to success as an individual in this league, winning is the most important thing," McCaffrey said. "So far, yeah, I would say [this is my most successful season] just because of the success of our team. From a personal feeling, there's nothing like winning."

McCaffrey also took the opportunity to defend Purdy, his MVP-candidate quarterback, against those still attempting to downplay his success.

"There's always an excuse, for some reason, why someone had success that's not they're really good at football," McCaffrey said. "He's competitive, he's confident, and then you add talent. When you put all of that together, you get a good player, and he has everything that you would want."

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