The Carolina Panthers must establish a different plan for Christian McCaffrey regarding his role in the offense for the upcoming 2022 season.
The Carolina star running back needs less pressure put on him or become less of a priority in the offensive fit.
There is no question that when CMC is on the field, he is a dynamic player that proved to be one of the best running backs in the game. Since his immaculate 2019 season where he ran and caught for over 1,000 yards, injuries plagued him the past two seasons.
It is no secret that he is a huge focal point in the offense, and arguably too much. The reliance on CMC makes Carolina almost one dimensional due to the number of times he carries the ball, and the lack of a threatening passing attack. When he played, he provided a solid blocker that made Sam Darnold more comfortable in the pocket. The lack of him on the field made it that much easier for pass rushers to pressure Darnold, and the short dump offs McCaffrey caught, were no more.
While he can remain a huge part of the offense, the number of carries and the percentage of offensive run plays need to decrease. McCaffrey is coming off two injury-riddled seasons, and it is foolish to put that much onto him from the beginning. Some options would be to decrease his carries and give them to Chuba Hubbard or try to increase passing plays.
What is interesting is how McCaffrey helped Darnold from a blocker perspective, so it may be worth to keep him on the field to help that factor of the pass game. Also, if he is not running, maybe do short routes to CMC.
There are different ways to approach an offense and one way the Panthers should attack it is less reliance on McCaffrey.