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C.J. Anderson: Panthers' scheme 'fits my game well'

The free-agent market is often about choices for players as they entertain interest from teams.

For running back C.J. Anderson, fitting in with an offensive scheme played a large role in his decision to sign with the Carolina Panthers.

"I just think it fits my game personally well," Anderson said Wednesday afternoon during a guest spot on NFL Up To The Minute. "They love to run the ball. That's something they do more of.

"They have history of running the ball and using backs in certain ways. I think with the power in my game with a little bit of quickness to break tackles and the leadership I can bring, with the football IQ on top that I can bring to Carolina hopefully puts them over the hump."

Anderson has a point on Carolina's commitment to the running game, of course.

The Panthers finished the 2017 season ranked fourth in rushing, averaging 131.4 yards per game. Carolina's ground attack has also proven consistently good during the Cam Newton era, ranking 10th in 2016 (113.4 yards per game), second in 2015 (142.6) and seventh in 2014 (127.2).

Newton led the team in rushing last season with 754 yards.

With the 5-foot-8, 224-pound Anderson, the Panthers have a powerfully-built running back who posted 3,051 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns on 693 carries, averaging 4.4 yards per attempt, over the past five seasons with the Broncos.

While Anderson joins second-year pro Christian McCaffrey in the backfield, it remains to be seen how new offensive coordinator Norv Turner intends to split touches.

The Anderson-McCaffrey combination provides intrigue, but also working in the Panthers' favor is Turner's track record with running backs.

The longtime NFL coach has worked with numerous 1,000-yard rushers, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and Stephen Davis. Additionally, Turner has worked with the versatile Darren Sproles, whose skill set is comparable to McCaffrey.

Given Turner's ability to get the most out of a backfield, Anderson looks forward to sharing the workload with McCaffrey.

"One thing that's going to be true is we're both going to play," Anderson said. "Who knows from there? He has a special skill set that I'm pretty sure Norv is going to use to the full capability maximum.

"And same with me. I got a skill set that he's going to use for me very well. So, I was really high up there on explosive runs of 20 yards or more, that's something I can build off of and I'm excited about."

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