Christian McCaffrey

49ers coach Turner drops great CMC quip while praising star RB

49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner wishes he could have had Christian McCaffrey his entire career.

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Christian McCaffrey is heading into his first full NFL season with the 49ers after arriving in the Bay from the Carolina Panthers last October. 

San Francisco felt the immediate impact of having the Stanford product in its backfield. So, 49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner jokingly stated his desire to have McCaffrey earlier in his coaching career.

"I wish I had him earlier in my career," Turner told reporters Thursday. "First and foremost, Christian is an outstanding individual that loves the game. And he wants to be the best of the best and is very coachable. 

"And before I can even start coaching him, he knows what he did. He knows. And he wants those coaching points, and he enjoys it. But he's also a player that he can just look at himself, and even when the plays in it, he felt something just wasn't maybe right as far as his depth, or he could have gained another of the yard or his read or whatever it was. He's aware of it.

Furthermore, Turner notes that McCaffrey is different from other running backs he has coached. The 26-year-old brings distinct football smarts to the 49ers, making him a unique player. 

By bringing in McCaffrey, the 49ers went away from their previous method of relying on plug-and-go players like Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. As a result, Turner noticed the difference. 

"I haven't had a lot of guys like that," Turner continued. "It had to do more [with] the finished product. I've had finished products that way, but not coming in from jump without me spending time coaching them. Whereas he's just wired like that. He was already intelligent, and smart. But there's a football, what I call instincts football; he has it all."

RELATED: Christian McCaffrey sounds off on NFL running back devaluation over time

The 49ers opened the playbook when McCaffrey arrived midway through last season. With a full offseason, expect San Francisco to get more out of its star running back as the team looks to reach a third straight NFC Championship Game, but this time come out on the winning side. 

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