Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert proving his worth on field
During the Panthers 27-6 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he ran for 89 yards and had to get physical to get those yards. While many at his position avoid those circumstances, he is one to thrust himself in the fray.
"It can get rough," Tolbert said. "A lot of running backs shy from contact. I enjoy it."
And as injuries keep on coming, more is expected of Tolbert who manages to deliver according to the expectations. And when on Sunday the Panthers were missing their starting running back DeAngelo Williams owing to a quad injury, he was the one to step up and cover his position as well with his gameplay. Tolbert nine carries that amounted to 48 yards and was beaten only by quarterback Cam Newton who had 56 yards.
During the second half, Tolbert received a short catch that he converted to 12 yards and set the tables for a touchdown that put the Panthers at 24-6. He did the same with a drive that resulted in a field goal during the fourth quarter.
The Panthers were happy with Tolbert, especially left tackle Jordan Gross. He said that he always got the crowd cheering when he had the ball and was a menace on the field. Any team’s defence hesitated from tackling Tolbert.
"When he gets the ball, I love it. He very rarely loses any yards out there, and he gets the crowd fired up. Those guys on defence for sure don't want to tackle him. He gives them a headache to say the least,” Gross said. “DeAngelo was out, so other people had to pick up the load. It's a tribute to the depth of our backfield and really the depth of our offense when we can still have success with our starter out."
The match against the Bucs wasn’t an easy one but Tolbert still managed not only to pull through but gave a good performance as well. Tolbert said that he did enjoy doing things differently as coach Mike Shula had been directing.
"Really? Hmm. I feel very involved doing the different things that Coach (Mike) Shula has me doing – whether I'm lining up at tight end and motioning back, or lining up at fullback and blocking, or running the ball at running back or protecting the quarterback,” Tolbert said. “Being able to do so many things gives us a different aspect that a lot of other teams don't have.”