Eagles’ Miles Sanders says he wants to be like the versatile Christian McCaffrey

The Philadelphia Eagles have a new No. 1 running back heading into the 2020 season, and they have high expectations for him. Miles Sanders set the Eagles rookie record for rushing yards with 818 (4.6 yards per carry) and caught 50 passes for 509 yards. He finished No. 8 in the NFL in all-purpose yards with 1,641, and recorded six touchdowns. He did all this while splitting time with a couple of other backs.

While Sanders proved he’s a dual-threat running back, he wants to be even more than that. He wants to be an elite offensive weapon that can hurt you in whichever way he chooses, and he has one player in mind who he would like to emulate.

Earlier this week, the Carolina Panthers gave Christian McCaffrey a four-year, $64 million extension that made him the highest-paid running back in NFL history. While Sanders naturally would love to make that kind of money one day, he knows he has to become the kind of dual-threat weapon McCaffrey is. 

“When I look at him, I look at a back that’s very hard to stop. I want to be that back,” Sanders said, via Tim McManus of ESPN.com. “I want to be that back where you think you can stop me in the run game and then, boom, I’m outside in the passing game and I’m rolling up yards for the team. I want to be that back where there’s no way you can really slow me down or stop me or take me out of the game because I’m so versatile. That’s the type of mentality and the type of player I want to be.”

McCaffrey, a Stanford product, has proven to be just as dangerous as a pass catcher as a traditional ball-carrier –breaking the NFL record for receptions by a running back in back-to-back seasons. Drafted No. 8 overall by the Panthers in 2017, he had two straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons to go along with two straight 100-catch campaigns — totaling nearly 2,400 total yards and 19 touchdowns in 2019.

McCaffrey saw a huge jump in production from his rookie season to his second season — and an even larger jump from year two to year three. While Sanders’ rookie season may have been considered a “breakout” season, he has the potential to further surprise the NFL world in 2020. 

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