The Buccaneers & Mike Tolbert

February 6th, 2018

Eager to move on

Dirk Koetter is one playcaller who doesn’t believe fullback is the extinct dinosaur position of the NFL.

Just look at Koetter’s history.

Jorvorskie Lane had a big role blocking for Doug Martin, and the Bucs actually invested a sixth-round pick into a fullback the following season after Lane was injured at the close of 2015.

The pick, Danny Vitale, wasn’t much of a blocker and got cut. He’s been with Tampa Bay North Cleveland ever since.

So what about fullback and Koetter? Well, Koetter trained his tight ends to play fullback and the results have not been special.

Joe brings this up because it’s rather obvious the Bucs will target a powerful running back in the NFL Draft or free agency, especially after they defied logic and good sense last season and stuck with Doug Martin. So why not upgrade at fullback and help get the run game back to where it was three seasons ago.

While in Atlanta, Koetter was credited for molding Pro Bowl fullback Patrick DiMarco. You know who told Joe that? It was DiMarco.

DiMarco is unavailable because he plays for the Bills, but veteran Mike Tolbert will be a free agent and he wants to keep playing, so he told the Buffalo News. Tolbert is a more traditional fullback and served in that role for the Panthers. He actually can carry the rock and catch the football, and years ago he was the featured bowling-ball back in San Diego. He also plays special teams.

Apparently, per the Buffalo News, Tolbert is interested in a return stint with the Panthers, but Joe suspects he’d still be with Carolina if they wanted him. And now they have a new offensive coordinator, so there are slim odds Tolbert will be courted there.

Tolbert is known for toughness and grit and leadership, something the Bucs haven’t had in one running back since Earnest Graham left town. For a team seeking an improved attitude and identity, Tolbert feels like an inexpensive upgrade.

The free agency dinner bell rings in 36 short days.

41 Responses to “The Buccaneers & Mike Tolbert”

  1. zwh99 Says:

    I wouldn’t mind the bucs signing him to a 1 year deal

  2. Says:

    looked good backing up shady. I’d take the human bowling ball on my squad.

    Whattup with Joe throwin shade on Cadillac and quizzz at the end?

  3. doolnutts Says:

    Our running game stinks. Yes it’s the backs, possibly the O-line BUT I think an underlooked factor is the lack of an actual fullback. We have a ton of cap, I really hope we start building this thing right this year.

  4. Kansas95Buc Says:

    Now I could be wrong here, but it looked like we were able to move the ball better when we had a fullback. Where’s Lord Cornelius when you need stats lol

  5. gotbbucs Says:

    Bucs have had the opportunity to sign him multiple times and didn’t. Why would they now?

    It would be like Tampa to sign a guy that they missed on signing years earlier when he actually still had some football left in him. This would just be another dude cashing one last NFL check at the Glazers expense.

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    “So what about fullback and Koetter? Well, Koetter trained his tight ends to play fullback and the results have not been special.”

    Alan Cross is called a TE but when he lines up FB he does a damn good job of blocking, he’s got some power run skills, and he has good hands. No need to spend money on a FB when you have one.

  7. 813bucboi Says:

    now we’re talking!!!!!….hopefully dirk channels his inner sean payton and commits himself and this team to the run game!!!!!….worked wonders for the saints…..same with the falcons and panthers…..we are the only team in our division with a lousy run game…..

    I like barber but we need another bruiser….a vet like Tolbert or a rookie like guice would improve our offense big time and would also take pressure off Winston…..

    I think a deep commitment to the run game would help establish our identity and help create a bad a$$ big stick carrying culture… cant be a bad a$$ with a finesse pass happy offense!!!!!!

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!

  8. 813bucboi Says:

    BTW…..alan cross made a few plays this year…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  9. LakeLand Says:

    When Doug Martin ran for 1454 yards as a rookie. He had FB Erik Lorig blocking for him.

  10. Easy Denman Says:

    Id rather keep Mark Cooks son Alan Cross on the roster.

  11. Tom Edrington Says:

    Not a need….

  12. DB55 Says:


  13. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Tolbert is known for toughness and grit and leadership, something the Bucs haven’t had in one running back since Earnest Graham left town

    We haven’t had anyone that fits that description until Jameis and Kwon were drafted.

  14. Maze Says:

    How old is he these days, 38?

  15. JAB83 Says:

    I would take a team friendly deal for him to come help win a Champion Ship this season…

    But I wouldn’t go crazy if they passed on him either…

    Although I do want a FB to help JW stay upright and to lay out would be pass rushers.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    He’s 32.

    I have begged and pleaded for a traditional fullback/halfback for years. They are hard to find in the draft, because fullbacks have been phased out for most NFL teams.

    Koetter and I are on the same page on this topic. A fullback that can block like Lorenzo Neal and run like Mike Alstott. That would be a dream come true, but they just do not exist anymore.

    As to Tolbert, as bad as I want a traditional FB, I’m not sure he is the right choice. Worth trying out during training camp, sure, but his age has me concerned. Runners probably last the least amount of time than any other position.

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tom Edrington Says
    “Not a need….”

    Oh, its a need. Imagine, for example, if Chris Sims had a Lorenzo Neal lead blocking for him. Or for Barber. Or for Rodgers. Our running game would explode. That’s why Koetter has been searching for one. He just has not found the right one yet.

    Maybe Cross can become it with development, but he ain’t there yet.

  18. Chris Says:

    Ha ha, explode, with a bunch of mediocre rbs.

  19. LakeLand Says:

    There’s a ton of traditional Fullbacks out there.

  20. LakeLand Says:

    If the Bucs really want to open up their offense. NC State, FB/TE Jaylen Samuels should be their 3rd round pick. He’s a perfect fit in Dirk Koetter vertical offense.

  21. VA BUC Says:

    Nooooooooo damn @Joe always trying to add on people who is done smh leave it to him he will get rid of all young players and add ol guys aka Gruden way

  22. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Yes! People act like fullbacks have no use anymore but the game hasn’t changed that much. It’s not having a nice bruising fullback to be a qk threat up the middle isn’t effective tool anymore. Great option to keep defenses guessing and br8 g them in to open up the pass.

  23. SOEbuc Says:


  24. SOEbuc Says:

    ^^^ Except for Grimes but that’s the only one I could ever think of and there have been a lot. ^^^

  25. Lunchbox Says:

    If he has even one productive year left in him, it would be a good pickup. Fullbacks are cheap and we have a ton of cap. Tolbert always reminded me of Lorenzo Neal. Remember how good the running game was when he was blocking? Yeah.

  26. Dooshlarue Says:

    Oh man… Josh McDaniels backed out of the Colts HC job.
    Come on Indy!!!!
    You’re desperate now…….
    Give Man Boobs Mike Smith a call STAT!!

  27. Ndog Says:

    McDaniels just screwed the Colts and he was the only guy that I wound have fired Dirk for so thank goodness we didn’t go down that road after all. Maybe just maybe the Glazes finally got something right. Maybe????

  28. BucEmUp Says:

    I really hope they do get a power back….but I don’t want one for a part time role and I don’t see Tolbert handling 18 carries a game. Really wanted Perine who’s talent is being wasted in Washington. They need to just keep drafting well and get a new DC. I’m not even getting excited about Free Agency, tired of it. Young players may be busts but talented FA vet’s coming to Tampa and taking a dump has been a sure bet every season.

  29. bonny owens Says:

    The buccaneers had that thumper of a running
    back and just let him walk. By the way that running back just won his 3rd superbowl ring. It seems that a lot of ex buccaneers seem to find such success when playing somewhere else. Could it be not so much the talent but how that talent was used here in good old tampa bay. Count the number of ex buccaneers that have played major roles in other teams super bowl success stories.

  30. Dooshlarue Says:


    No thanks to coaches who pull a Parcell on a team. You can’t trust him.
    I want Mike Smith gone so we can build a real D.
    Dirk will be fine.

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Smh – Dark days indeed.

  32. LakeLand Says:

    The San Diego Chargers let some good RBs walk. Teams in the NFC grabbed some and did good with them.

    Atlanta. Michael Turner
    Carolina. Mike Tolbert
    New Orleans. Darren Sproles

  33. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Better options

    Jaylen Samuels, HB, N.C. State
    • Height: 5-11. Weight: 223.
    • Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    • Projected Round (2018): 4th

    Ryan Nall, HB, Oregon State
    • Height: 6-2. Weight: 237.
    • Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    • Projected Round (2018): 5th

    HB Jaylen Samels N.C. State

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ryan Nall, HB, Oregon State

    Note: Rex Burkhead Clone

  35. LakeLand Says:


    I have never seen a player like Jaylen Samuels. The Bucs need him bad, really bad. He has all of the tools to excel in Dirk Koetter vertical offense.

  36. DoNUTS Says:

    Go young at RB. We have too many TE to use a FB. If Brate goes in a trade for a good DE, I think it would help this team more. I would also look at Wilkerson- DE Jets is unhappy and set to be released-inactive last 2 weeks of season for attitude. New scene helps some players. He is 28; had sack in last game he played.

  37. LakeLand Says:

    I think Bradley Chubb will be gone before the Bucs pick. But I like Wake Forest DE Duke Ejiofor. I like him as a 3rd round pick. I think he can step in and produce right away for the Bucs.

  38. DayOnePaul Says:

    Hell yes!
    Here comes The Combine!

  39. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    He’s a rare breed brotha. A true talent.

  40. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Funny I recommended the same player (Jaylen Samuels); last year.

    Get On The Phone To Mike Tolbert (February 21st, 2017)←

  41. teacherman777 Says:

    Bring Blount home!!!

    We never should have drafted Doug Martin!

    Blount should have gotten 25 carries a game for the past 6 years!!

    If we had kept Blount, we would be a playoff team year in and year out.

    He carried us to 10-6 while Caddy was a great 3rd down back. Caddy called out all the blitzes that J-Fro was too high or dumb to see.

    Bring Blount home!!!

    We should have signed him last year and cut Martin!