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Jonathan Stewart not worried about losing carries to Christian McCaffrey

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Stewart doesn't feel threatened by McCaffrey (1:13)

Josina Anderson weighs in on the brewing RB completion in Carolina between Jonathan Stewart and rookie Christian McCaffrey. (1:13)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart never stopped walking during the five minutes it took to get from the practice fields to the stadium after Tuesday's workout.

But Stewart did stop the conversation when it got to how many carries he might lose to first-round draft pick Christian McCaffrey.

"Stop talking about that. Who cares?" Stewart said. "We want to win the Super Bowl, right? That's the bottom line. It's not about people getting carries. It's not about people getting catches or touchdowns.

"It's about what can you contribute to get us to the Super Bowl."

Much has been made about McCaffrey's versatility and speed since Carolina made him the eighth pick of the draft.

But don't expect the 30-year-old Stewart to be pushed to the side. The Panthers didn't extend his contract through the 2018 season so he could ride the bench.

And Stewart didn't take offense to Carolina drafting the Stanford running back.

"Added value to the backfield -- that's it," he said.

Stewart knows what it's like to be in McCaffrey's shoes. He was the so-called "other back" in 2008 when the Panthers made him the No. 13 pick while 2006 first-round pick DeAngelo Williams was entrenched as the starter.

The Panthers went 12-4 that season with Williams rushing for 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns and Stewart adding 836 yards and 10 touchdowns.

A year later, they became the first pair of backs on the same team to rush for more than 1,100 yards in the same season.

They even had a nickname: "Double Trouble."

Stewart and McCaffrey would offer a similar dynamic, with Stewart being more of a first- and second-down power back and McCaffrey a quicker change-of-pace back who also can contribute on early downs and play slot receiver.

Coach Ron Rivera said there will be scenarios in which both will be in the backfield together, though he didn't elaborate further.

"Jonathan will play his role and he'll do the things we do with him," Rivera said. "Christian will have his role and we'll do things accordingly as we go through it.

"I'm not going to tell you specifically how we'll do it. But that's how those guys will roll."

McCaffrey won't join the team until a June 13-15 minicamp because of an NFL rule that doesn't allow draft picks to participate until their school year is complete, even if they're not enrolled.

But Stewart has seen enough tape on McCaffrey to know his value.

"When he gets here, you'll see," he said. "It's pretty exciting. ... He's very quick. Overall, he's just a very good football player. Out of the backfield, he can run, he can catch ... strong runner.

"He has all the attributes you want."

McCaffrey's strength has been as a receiver out of the backfield even though he's been effective running between the tackles. Stewart's strength has been between the tackles. He has only 154 catches in nine seasons. He had eight last season.

But don't sell Stewart short as a receiver.

"I think I'm pretty good at catching the ball out of the backfield," he said.

Stewart also isn't concerned that his statistics will begin to drop like those of many 30-year-old backs. If anything, he says his career has been extended because of injuries that limited him to 15 games in 2012-13.

Sharing the load with Williams early in his career also could help.

"I feel great," Stewart said. "I feel pretty good compared to any other 30-year-old running back that you'll probably see. In this business the age shouldn't be a factor. It's all about production."

And with McCaffrey added to the mix along with a few other new weapons, the Panthers could return to the productivity they had in 2015 when they led the league in scoring.

"We get guys in here that can add value, guys can do different things, add speed, youth ... it gives defenses something to think about," Stewart said. "At the end of the day that's what you want. You want the defense to think so that way you can get by them."

And with that, the walk ended because Stewart had arrived at his destination. At least for this day.

"We're trying to go to the Super Bowl," Stewart said. "I'm pretty sure he's going to help us do that."