Last year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey picked up right where he left off at the end of last season, as the Stanford Cardinal beat Kansas State 26-13 in their season opener. McCaffrey ended up with 210 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. Having coached McCaffrey for three years now, head coach David Shaw marvels over his star’s consistency and humbleness, which his teammates love.
“The best thing about Christian, you get the same thing every single game. All he’s got every sinlge play,” Shaw told The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday. “He tries to make every single play a touchdown, but he doesn’t sacrifice what we are trying to do on offense. So it’s not about being selfish, it’s about maximizing every single touch.
“The guy just does special things every single week and his team rallies around him. You have some situations where a guy gets all the publicity and there could be some resentment, these guys love the fact that Christian is a work hard, team first guy, so they want him to have success as well.”
Over the years, Shaw’s Stanford teams have prided themselves on toughness and physicality, a trait the coach says they need to create in practice to get the best result on game day.
“Football is a game of very very quick decisions and reactions. You don’t have time to think,” Shaw said. “And if you’re not mentally and physically trained to react in those situations and play a physical and brutal game, as this is, I don’t know that you can play it at a high level. We’re going to tackle and we’re going to hit, and it’s going to be hard-nosed football on Saturday’s, which means we have to do that on Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Recently Shaw mentioned that one of the more influential books he has ever read was The Greatest Salesman in the World by O.G. Mansion, a book that just so happens to be one of Jim Rome’s favorites as well. The Stanford coach took time to explain what about that book resonated with him so much.
“It’s one of those things that really makes you look at yourself and your interactions with people and makes you introspective,” Shaw said. “It makes you conscious of everything that you do and why you do it, and I think it’s a great book for reflection but then also, motivation for me. What kind of person do I want to be? What kind of a worker do I want to be? How do I want people that deal with me to view me? And I think that was very formative book for me as far as being a football coach, as far as being a husband and a father, and a person in the community.”