Panthers rookie running back Christian McCaffrey has had more time off than he’d prefer, but he hasn’t used it for anything exciting.
McCaffrey told David Newton of ESPN.com that other than going to a Rockies game one night while home in Colorado, his spring vacation has lacked action.
“I figure the guys on my team aren’t doing anything fun, so I’m trying to walk in and stay on their schedule,” McCaffrey said. “I’m trying to put myself as much in a situation as they’re in as possible.”
McCaffrey and his Stanford teammates (along with players from other schools on the quarter system) can’t join their NFL teams until their class finishes exams — even if they’re not enrolled in class — whether they like it or not.
That’s left McCaffrey to watch practice film and talk on the phone often with running backs coach Jim Skipper, as he tries to stay caught up for his arrival for some portion of this week’s minicamp.
“I won’t be behind as far as the plays go in practice,” McCaffrey said. “Getting acclimated and comfortable with the team, I’ll be a little bit behind. But that will come. . . .
“It’s tough being away from a competitive atmosphere for that long, but I still push myself every day in my training and studies.”
And when he rolls in this week, the fun will begin, as the Panthers retool their offense with their first-round pick as a new weapon for quarterback Cam Newton.