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Christian McCaffrey Reflects on His Father's Impact to His Football Success

In the McCaffrey household, football was not just a sport, it was a way of life.

Before San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey went on to earn All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors, he was raised in a family where football greatness resonated in every moment he shared with his father, Ed McCaffrey.

Ed, a Pro Bowl wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion, owns a wealth of knowledge and experience that he passed down to his sons Max, Christian, Dylan and Luke. He taught them the fundamentals of football with passion and dedication from an early age.

"It was such a blessing," Christian said on an episode of the "ManningCast," "To have him as a resource, just as a player. Being able to learn so many intricacies of the game at such a young age, but also to learn how to do it... Half my life I watched my dad block for guys like (Pro Football Hall of Fame running back) Terrell Davis. And so for me, it was kind of ingrained in us. There's a way to play the game, there's a way to respect the game."

Ed served as more than just a coach on the field for the young McCaffrey boys. Their father also taught them life lessons about perseverance, integrity, and the importance of humility in the face of success. The former 13-year NFL veteran was a mentor to his sons who led by example.

"My dad did it at the absolute highest level and played the right way," Christian said. "He didn't say much, but played extremely loud. And I always respected that. Having him as a resource and being able to pick his brain on different things, not just on the field, but off the field, was a big benefit for all of us."

Together, the McCaffrey family bonded over the X's and O's, and the fundamentals they learned in their childhood backyard laid the groundwork for their collective success in various pursuits. Christian is set to enter his eighth NFL season as the reigning AP Offensive Player of the Year. His brother Dylan spent some time playing football at the collegiate level and his brothers Max and Luke have made their marks on the league. Max works as an offensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins after playing for two years in the NFL, and Luke was most recently selected by the Washington Commanders in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

"We were always doing two-on-two basketball or two-on-two football," Christian said. "But whatever it was, we were doing it together. It was just a great sports household to grow up in."

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