Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay thought he was done facing Christian McCaffrey after his club beat the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. Nope.
Following last week’s trade of CMC to San Francisco, McVay and the Rams are gearing up to face the shifty back again in Week 8.
“You thought, ‘Oh, s—. They’re getting another great player?'” McVay told reporters Monday of his reaction when he heard about the 49ers’ trade, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “As a competitor, you say, ‘Hey, they’ve got him. We’ve got to be able to move forward accordingly, and it just so happens that they’re on the schedule this week.”
The Rams were in on McCaffrey trade talks, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reportedbut were out-bid by the Niners, who gave up 2023 second-, third- and fourth-round picks and a 2024 fifth-rounder.
Following the trade, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan called it “a bonus” to keep McCaffrey off the Rams’ roster.
Added McVay on the rivalry with his long-time friend: “The thing that I respect is there’s a good competitiveness. We have a lot of relationships in this business. It’s a small business, but it is one that’s got a bunch of very competitive people in. Sometimes some of the moves are made with, No. 1, it benefits your team, but it’s also not trying to help strengthen others, and I think that’s just a sound approach.”
McCaffrey rushed for 69 yards on 13 carries and added seven catches for 89 yards with the Panthers against the Rams defense in Week 6. No other position player had more than 22 yards in the game.
The 49ers already beat the Rams 24-9 back in Week 4 sans their new star running back.
After a full week to get immersed in the Niners’ offense, the Rams are preparing for a whole host of creativity with how Shanahan will use CMC, Deebo Samuel (if healthy), Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and the rest of the offense.
“I think he’s a phenomenal player,” McVay said of McCaffrey. “Obviously we saw him recently. I’ve always had respect for his game and the versatility. That’s your first inclination, and then you know what a great job Kyle and his staff do in maximizing and utilizing offensive weapons.”