Radio Row

Why Steelers' Harris sees 49ers as ‘perfect' home for CMC

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A Bay Area native and NFL star was singing the praises of 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey -- and the way he fits within his backyard.

In a conversation with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan at Radio Row on Thursday in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Najee Harris made his case on what enables McCaffrey, an NFL MVP favorite to credible onlookers, to shine like few running backs in the league.

“Christian McCaffrey, one [is] he has a great team around him,” Harris told Chan. “That’s really good. He has a great offensive coordinator, too, in Kyle Shanahan. So, that’s amazing. I love Kyle Shanahan. One of the best offensive coordinators, I think, out there.

“For him to put him in good opportunities to win also in his routes, or just even in schemes – and schemes that his o-line likes to block in being the outside zone a lot. You know, they run a good amount of outside zone, or even trap plays.” 

A 2021 Pro Bowl selection and 2023 regular season top-seven rushing leader himself, Harris unquestionably is well-versed in what it takes to deliver for a team from the back in an ever-demanding and ultra-physical NFL. 

And, to him, McCaffrey, innately, has the chops. 

“Christian McCaffrey, himself, does a good job of setting up his blocks, really the X’s and O’s of the game,” Harris added. “He is really detailed in his work, like Jalen [Warren] was saying. Just someone like that Christian, who I watched in college when he was at Stanford, he’s always been a versatile, explosive guy. 

“Christian, behind that scheme, obviously, he elevated it more from when he came from the Panthers because [it was] just the right scheme [that he] fit in, and how Kyle Shanahan could use him. But I think this is the perfect place for him to be.” 

Ahead of Sunday’s championship game, it’s expected that Shanahan’s scheme and McCaffrey’s duties within those plans won’t drastically change. 

McCaffrey is on pace to finish an already historic season with a massive exclamation mark if he can provide the expected output to San Francisco’s offensive strategy against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

After all, he’s a proven NFL star, who likely feels right at home in San Francisco. 

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