Christian McCaffrey impresses in day 1 of Panthers rookie mini c - | WBTV Charlotte

Christian McCaffrey impresses in day 1 of Panthers rookie mini camp

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"He's sharp," said Panthers wide receiver and former Charlotte 49er and Independence star Austin Duke.  

That was a common theme surrounding Panthers first round draft choice Christian McCaffrey after day one of Panthers rookie mini camp.

"He and Samuel (Curtis Samuel- Panthers 2nd round pick) look different," said Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.  "They've got a tremendous amount of ability and that's the exciting thing for us."

True to what the team said after drafting the former Stanford star, they lined McCaffrey up at running back and at wide receiver as he showed the speed to hit the hole running between the tackles and his ability to catch the ball in space.

"This is a big learning day," said McCaffrey.  "Once you learn it, earn it."

"We are just scratching the surface as far as the things we want to do," said Rivera.

The fact that he lined up in so many spots in his first practice ever as a Panthers is a sign that he is already picking up on the offense.

"When you come out here, there are no questions," said McCaffrey.  "All the questions are in the meeting room so when you come out here you can play fast."

Rivera walked around the practice field with a big smile today.  Even Panthers owner Jerry Richardson even came out to get a look at the rookies.  McCaffrey's team mates were quite impressed as well.

""Everything is crisp," said Duke who signed with the team as a rookie free agent.  "He looked really great. I looked at him in the huddle and I said man it's so good to be in a huddle with you."

McCaffrey will have one more practice with the team before having to miss some of the Panthers OTA because Stanford is still in school.  He can return to the team once the quarter ends in Palo Alto.  

"There's still some rules where I can communicate especially with the players," said McCaffrey.  "I have the playbook and I'll be able to train too so I can find out what they are doing and replicate it exactly how they do it.  It's still football at the end of the day.  You come out on the field whether it's with the team or without.  You have to have the same mentality. 

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