View Full Version : Chiefs 30 FAs in 30 Days: Mike Tolbert

02-22-2012, 07:41 AM

30 FAs in 30 Days: Mike Tolbert

Today's featured player is San Diego Chargers fullback Mike Tolbert

NAME: Mike Tolbert
POSITION: Fullback


COLLEGE: Coastal Carolina

GP/GS: 59/15

AGE/EXPEREINCE: 26/4 seasons

BACKGROUND: Chiefs fans know him as a rolling ball of butcher knives the team must square off against twice a year. Fantasy football fans simply refer to him as the “touchdown vulture.”

In San Diego, Mike Tolbert represents the evolution of the fullback position with his ability to serve as a lead blocker, a primary rusher and a reliable pass catcher. Undrafted out of Coastal Carolina, Tolbert has done a little bit of it all for the Chargers and is yet another success story of college free agents succeeding as NFL running backs.

Tolbert has been a regular in San Diego since his rookie season, but it wasn’t until 2010 that Tolbert truly began serving as a ball carrier as well.

Tobert has logged 303 carries and caught 79 passes since 2010 after totaling just 68 combined touches through his first two NFL seasons. Impressive speed and good hands help set Tolbert apart from other players at his position.

Tolbert led San Diego with 182 carries for 735 yards in 2010 when an early-season ankle injury nagged Ryan Mathews throughout his rookie campaign. Prior to 2010, Tolbert’s highest single-season workload was 25 carries for 148 yards.

Last season, with a healthy Mathews in tow, Tolbert’s rushing workload decreased but his receiving targets skyrocketed. After losing Darren Sproles to free agency, QB Philip Rivers relied on Tolbert as his primary receiving target out of the backfield.

Tolbert finished the year just 10 receptions shy of Antonio Gates’ team-leading 64 catches. His 54 receptions were the most by a Chargers running back since LaDainian Tomlinson caught 60 passes during an All-Pro 2007 campaign.

Regardless of how deep the Chargers backfield has been, they’ve always set aside a role for Tolbert.

AVAILABILITY: The situation in San Diego’s backfield is interesting with Tolbert and Jacob Hester both set to become free agents. While the Chargers likely won’t lose both players, many around San Diego believe Hester holds the better odds of returning.

“I would love to be here, but I’ve got to weigh my options and do what’s best for my family,” Tolbert recently told Chargers.com.

“You’ve got to understand, Jacob and I came in together. We’ve been roommates the whole time here. I would love to see Jacob, myself and Ryan, and Curtis (Brinkley) and Frank (Summers) and Shawnbrey (McNeal) and all of us stay together for a few more years, but at the same time you know it’s a business and they might not want to go that same direction.”

COACHING CONNECTIONS: There are no ties between Tolbert and the Chiefs coaching staff, but there is plenty of familiarity in preparing to face Tolbert as a division rival.

WHY HE FITS: The Chiefs picture at fullback is cloudy with Le’Ron McClain set to hit unrestricted free agency. Seventh-round draft pick Shane Bannon is under contract for 2012, but is largely unproven after spending most of the 2011 season on the practice squad injured list.

There could be more opportunity in the backfield with Thomas Jones and Jackie Battle both scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency as well.

It’s also unclear how new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll plans to utilize the fullback position in his offensive scheme next season. Last year, Daboll preferred the versatility and position flexibility of Dolphins rookie Charles Clay.

If the Chiefs were to pursue Tolbert, one of the reasons might be his Red Zone presence.

Kansas City didn’t just possess the NFL’s worst Red Zone offense last season, but scored fewer points inside the 30-yard line than any other team as well.

The Chiefs converted just 27.5% of their trips inside the opponents’ 30-yard line into touchdowns. By comparison, the league average was 45.0% and Green Bay led the NFL with 63.0% TD efficiency inside the 30-yard line.

Tolbert’s 19 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons place him seventh in the NFL during that timeframe. He was able to hit that mark on just 303 carries, while the six players ahead of him combined to average 529 carries as their team’s primary ball-carrier from 2010-11.

Red Zone rushing attempts come at a furious pace for Tolbert. He cracked the top-20 rushing TD list from the past two seasons despite averaging far fewer carries and rushing yards than any other top-20 member.

Hence the nickname “Touchdown Vulture.”

Red Beans
02-22-2012, 07:45 AM
Bring in the vulture.

02-22-2012, 08:11 AM
why not.

beach tribe
02-22-2012, 08:42 AM
Tolbert is beast. We need him or someone like him.

02-22-2012, 08:50 AM
Considering how much Cassel insists on checking down, it would be nice having another solid short yardage passing target.

(Cassel sucks /obligatory)

02-22-2012, 09:29 AM
(Cassel sucks /obligatory)

At this point it is no longer obligatory, rather it should be mandatory. All sigs should have this.

02-22-2012, 09:31 AM
He would be a great compliment to Charles, but I can't see SD letting him go especially to a division rival.

02-22-2012, 09:41 AM
We picked up a Raider FA so we might as well sign a Charger too. Tolbert might be a perfect fit so count me in. If we make this move I'd say drafting Richardson is out of the picture.

Edit: Is M. Bush from Oakland going to be a FA? He'd be an awsome get for a RB.

02-22-2012, 10:20 AM
Dude is money around the goal line.

02-22-2012, 10:24 AM
We picked up a Raider FA so we might as well sign a Charger too. Tolbert might be a perfect fit so count me in. If we make this move I'd say drafting Richardson is out of the picture.

Edit: Is M. Bush from Oakland going to be a FA? He'd be an awsome get for a RB.

Didn't see thread about this yesterday?

02-22-2012, 11:09 AM
I thought he was available last year
If they couldn't work out a deal on a 1 year contract...

Rain Man
02-22-2012, 11:47 AM
I'm laughing at 5-9, 243. Is 5-9 his height or his circumference?

He was scary in 2010, but it didn't seem like he was very effective in 2011 from what I saw. It looks like he averaged 4.0 yards per carry in both seasons, so maybe my perspective is flawed.

02-22-2012, 12:05 PM
Every team could use a guy like Tolbert. He's got good speed and elusiveness for a fatty pants, good hands, great blocker, a wiz on ST, what more could any team want from a 2nd string RB?
The only problem might be that he wants to be the featured back. While that doesn’t fit his personality, (his quotes suggest he's a team first guy), it might fit his agent’s.

Chief Faithful
02-22-2012, 12:18 PM
Tolbert would be the best FA RB signing for the Chiefs. Great RB to carry the load allowing Charles to be the change of pace RB.

Plus, while adding to the Chiefs it would weaken the Chargers.

thurman merman
02-22-2012, 02:21 PM
Yes, please.

02-22-2012, 02:39 PM
Obligatory CP plug: "He's better than what we have. Bring him in for a look."

02-22-2012, 02:48 PM
Sign him. He has the ability to run a 4.5 forty while his shoulder pads are 9" above his toes.

02-22-2012, 03:59 PM
I would prefer another Raider (Bell) over Tolbert. But, Tolbert would not be a bad additional at all