Christian McCaffrey praised by Jimmy Garoppolo as 49ers pair builds chemistry

Jimmy G praises CMC as pair continues building chemistry originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA -- After another week together, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has found building chemistry with Christian McCaffrey is going smoothly so far.

The running back who arrived 48 hours prior to the team’s Week 7 matchup had approximately 20 plays in his arsenal for his first appearance with the 49ers. McCaffrey was on the field for 22 snaps and registered eight carries for 38 yards along with two receptions for 24 yards.

The ex-Carolina Panther will have the full game plan open to him for Sunday’s divisional contest at SoFi Stadium with the Los Angeles Rams. McCaffrey, who is technically a running back who catches passes, has been seen working one-on-one with Garoppolo on that part of his game during the early portion of practice that is open to the media.

“It’s been good, It’s been good,” Garoppolo said of working with his new teammate on Thursday. “Trying to get as much time together as we can, just talking, trying to get on the same page. But he sees the field very similar to a quarterback. He just has a good feel for space, as all our backs do.”

McCaffrey seems to have adjusted seamlessly to his new surroundings but admitted that his first two days in Santa Clara were a little overwhelming. The running back shared that he now has gotten his bearings and hearing what his quarterback had to say was a nice stamp of approval.

“That’s a good compliment,” McCaffrey said. “I try to. I try to. I think you’ve got to think like them and be at the right spot at the right time. He throws a great ball. He is dialed in and commands the huddle and gets everybody in line. He’s a lot of fun to work with, so it’s been good getting to know him and I’m excited to continue to play with him.”

McCaffrey is known for his versatility and, like fellow skill players George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, for his ability to gain yards after catch. Through seven games, the running back is averaging 9.2 yards after catch, and coach Kyle Shanahan obviously would like to continue that trend.

It might be even more important for McCaffrey to be available in all aspects of the run and pass game Sunday with the health of Samuel in question. The “wide back” missed his second straight practice on Thursday with a hamstring injury.

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While Shanahan and his staff could eventually ask McCaffrey what routes he might prefer to help his productivity, for now, McCaffrey is just getting up to speed in his new surroundings.

“For me, it’s whatever route is called, whatever run is called, break tackles, move the ball forward,” McCaffrey said. “Jimmy is going to get the ball where it needs to be, and it’s my job to be there for him and be there for him at the right time.”

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