The right running back to complement Christian McCaffrey might look a lot like McCaffrey
/ Panthers

By David NewtonESPN Staff Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Much has been debated about who will complement Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey after Jonathan Stewart was released last week.

There also has been a lot of debate over whether McCaffrey (5-foot-10, 205 pounds) has the size to be the every-down back. Perhaps a glimpse into new offensive coordinator Norv Turner's past will help. Specifically, a look into Turner’s time with Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, the player McCaffrey was most often compared to coming out of Stanford a year ago.

Turner was Tomlinson’s offensive coordinator at San Diego in 2001 and his head coach with the Chargers from 2007 to 2009. Tomlinson (5-10, 215) was about the same size as McCaffrey and he finished his career ranked fifth on the NFL’s all-time leading rushing list with 13,684 yards.

Tomlinson’s complementary back in 2001 was Terrell Fletcher (5-8, 196). Tomlinson carried 339 times for 1,236 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Fletcher got 29 carries for 107 yards.

Tomlinson’s complementary backs in 2007 were Michael Turner (5-10, 237) and Darren Sproles (5-6, 181). Tomlinson had 317 carries for 1,474 yards while the other two combined for 108 carries for 480...

Keep reading