Matt Rhule: Panthers have two running backs who can play at the highest level

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The Panthers took Christian McCaffrey with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, then made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL three years later. But the Panthers’ offense didn’t miss a beat with McCaffrey out for the last six games.

That’s because Mike Davis, whom the Panthers claimed off waivers a year ago, has stepped in and done everything Carolina needs of a running back.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that the Panthers have two running backs who can get the job done now that McCaffrey has been cleared to return.

“The great thing we’ve found now is we have Christian back, but we also have Mike Davis, and so we have two running backs that can play at the highest level. We don’t have to push one guy to play too much. I think we have two tremendous weapons,” Rhule said. “I think Christian will be back out there for us, I think he’ll play as hard as he can as much as he can, but on the flip side we also have Mike Davis, and that’s the best of both worlds to me.”

Rhule wasn’t intending to make a statement about the replaceability of running backs, but he made that case well. The Panthers are one of many NFL teams that have had success with low-cost running backs this season, raising the question of why any team ever invests a Top 10 pick and a top-flight contract in a player who plays a position where adequate replacements can be found on the waiver wire.

6 responses to “Matt Rhule: Panthers have two running backs who can play at the highest level

  1. Further proof that RBs are a dime a dozen, Mike Davis “…claimed off waivers…”

    Look at all of the teams that completely whiffed on James Robinson, UFDA.

    Get you’re money now boys the game is evolving away from hi priced RBs. QB, WR, LT, CB, DE, LB are all more important positions in today’s NFL.

    That said, if they just fed MD the rock last Thursday they would have easily beaten ATL. Horrible offensive game plan

  2. He will probably take out Mccaffrey after he finds his groove. Just like how he practically sat Davis after he found his last week. Worst offensive play calling I ever saw. Doubt it changes this week.

  3. It is overstating the trend to say that ”RBs are a dime a dozen.” We still see starting and higher drafted RBs generally out-performing their back- ups. Teams should be very cautious, though, about which RBs are given top tier contracts.

  4. CMC is a different beast. Look at how much he contributes in both the running and passing gam – he basically was the Carolina offence for the last few seasons. Mike Davis played really well over the 6 games CMC missed, and produced well int he running game, but he left a McCaffrey-shaped hole in the passing game.

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