FB Tolbert’s versatility paying off for Panthers
CHARLOTTE — Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert says he’s used to defenders underestimating him when he has the ball in his hands.

He’s hoping they continue to do so.

The squatty 5-foot-9, 245-pound Tolbert doesn’t look like he’d be tough to tackle or particularly fast. But Tolbert’s low center of gravity and surprising speed has made him a valuable and versatile commodity for the Panthers (9-3), who beat TampaBay on Sunday for their eighth straight victory.

He says with a laugh that defenders “see a guy that is short and fat and they think, ‘Oh yeah, we got him no problem.'” But Tolbert adds that, “Then they are like ‘Whoa, where did he get those feet from? I didn’t know he was that fast.'”

The Panthers play at the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.

The Saints lost to the Seattle Seahawks Monday night which clinched the NFC West for Seattle. It also put Carolina and New Orleans in a tie at 9-3 for the NFC South.

The Panthers and Saints will meet two times in the next three weeks.