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Panthers see Mike Tolbert as a fullback

Mike+Tolbert+Oakland+Raiders+v+San+Diego+Chargers+k70t0a9j3aOl Getty Images

The Panthers set off a wave of speculation about the future of their backfield when they signed Mike Tolbert as a free agent earlier this month.

With DeAngelo Williams getting a big contract last year and Tolbert nabbing a four-year deal this year, plenty of people wondered if they were going to trade Jonathan Stewart. Stewart is going into the final year of his contract and it seems unclear that he has much of a future in Carolina beyond this year with all the other commitments at the position.

But it also sounds like it is unlikely that he’ll be playing anywhere but Carolina this season. Panthers coach Ron Rivera talked about Tolbert’s role with the Panthers this season and they aren’t viewing him as a threat to Stewart’s role.

“Everybody keeps saying he’s a tailback. But he’s a fullback to us. Because again, we saw how we had used him in San Diego. We just thought this is a guy we’d love to have. … If you can put an athletic, play-making fullback there, I think it helps you.”

How it will all shake out remains to be seen, but it’s a safe bet that Tolbert’s touches will go way down from what they were in San Diego. With Williams, Stewart and Cam Newton also on hand, it also seems like a safe bet that the Panthers will be one of the league’s better running teams in 2012.

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14 Responses to “Panthers see Mike Tolbert as a fullback”
  1. talkintrashallday says: Apr 1, 2012 8:56 AM

    trade everyone not named Cam Newton!

  2. christopher525 says: Apr 1, 2012 9:13 AM

    They’ll now have 3 threats to run in the backfield anytime they line up with FB and RB, kind of scary. Also, that’s one more “check down” player for Newton in the passing game. We really need to reload our defense, but, adding Tolbert helps the offense a ton.

  3. biffnasty says: Apr 1, 2012 10:06 AM

    Carolina….your team has absolutely no fantasy value whatsoever in the running game now

  4. Puddy says: Apr 1, 2012 10:08 AM

    He better play defense too because the kittens can’t stop anybody
    6-10 last year
    4-12 this year.
    enjoy the cellar

  5. thespeaker08 says: Apr 1, 2012 10:39 AM

    @ Puddy

    Name three defensive tackles who started for the panthers in 2011 without using google.

    Oh you can’t? Wierd. Because by your comment, I figured you knew everything about the Panthers.

  6. elmaxoh says: Apr 1, 2012 1:01 PM

    With that offensive college playbook they have , that could be amazing.

  7. lilrob10201 says: Apr 1, 2012 1:10 PM

    thespeaker08 says:
    Apr 1, 2012 10:39 AM
    @ Puddy

    Name three defensive tackles who started for the panthers in 2011 without using google.

    Oh you can’t? Wierd. Because by your comment, I figured you knew everything about the Panthers.
    ————————————————–
    ————————————————–
    GOT EM COACH!

  8. jebdamone says: Apr 1, 2012 2:12 PM

    panthers run game this year is gonna be baller

  9. wishulivednsd says: Apr 1, 2012 2:48 PM

    BTW the photo shown is Gates 85, not Tolbert 35. Your new full back is not 6′-5″ and 265lbs.

  10. bullethead527 says: Apr 1, 2012 3:43 PM

    Name three defensive tackles who started for the panthers in 2011 without using google.

    Fau, McClain. Shirley, Kearse and Neblett….
    Im a Panther fan by the way, but Beason, Davis, Edwards, and Hogan a shut down corner (that will take Captain’s spot, will be back healthy, we picked up Nakamura ( Martin’s) replacement, and we still have the draft.

  11. lightninglucci says: Apr 1, 2012 4:46 PM

    Tolbert is also a demon on special teams coverage.

  12. pigbladder says: Apr 1, 2012 8:01 PM

    tolbert is a beast period. he can catch the ball and run hard after. he can pound, and he can block. an assett to any team, just bummed he didn’t show up on “my” team’s roster. panthers really beefed up there.

  13. kenyonsupertramp says: Apr 2, 2012 3:59 AM

    You’re living in denial if you think panthers defense will suck next yr. Respect RR

  14. jgedgar70 says: Apr 3, 2012 3:13 PM

    The only one I want to see lose carries due to Tolbert’s arrival is Newton. I know he’s built like a linebacker, but I’d much rather he threw a checkdown to Tolbert and let Tolbert run over people than Newton packing it in and running. I would also rather see Tolbert get the ball on third and goal from the 3.

    If we can either get a good #2 WR in the draft or if one of the stiffs we have on the roster develop into a good #2 WR, we’ll have the best offense in the league.

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