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Bills Today: Tolbert not holding back against former team

Posted Sep 17, 2017

Bills fullback Mike Tolbert plans to give it his all during Buffalo's Week 2 game against the Panthers.


Here’s the Bills news of note for Sept. 17th.

1 - Tolbert not holding back against former team
When head coach Sean McDermott made the move from Carolina to Buffalo he brought some of his former players with him. Those players include: Kaelin Clay, Leonard Johnson, Mike Tolbert, and Joe Webb. Tolbert, the eldest of that group, gave his n: ew teammates some tips throughout the week to help prepare against his former team.

“There’s a rule out there that snitches get stitches, but I’m gonna get a lot of stitches this week,” Tolbert said.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection is more than familiar with the Carolina’s. Before his NFL playing days he attended Coastal Carolina University, he later went undrafted in 2008. Tolbert had the longest stint with the Panthers of any Bills player; he suited up with them for five seasons. Despite his familiarity with the area, Tolbert has one goal for today.

“It’s not about a big return home, it’s about going out on Sunday at one o’clock and getting a win,” Tolbert said.

In his first game with the Bills Tolbert had an encouraging outing serving as the backup running back. He had the teams only rushing touchdown last Sunday, and added 42-yards on 12 carries. He’ll look to be just as productive in his return to Bank of America Stadium. 

2 - Weapons on both sides of the ball for Carolina
From top to bottom the Carolina Panthers have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. The core of the team has stuck together for several years. They’re to thank for a remarkable 15-1 season in 2015 and a trip to the Super Bowl. In all phases of the game, the Panthers present a bunch of challenges.

If anyone’s familiar with this group, it’s Bills head coach Sean McDermott. Serving as their defensive coordinator for six-years, McDermott had the opportunity to coach that Pro Bowl core of players. 

“They’re a tough group to prepare for because they’re so athletic. Luke [Kuechly] is so aware of things, and they do a great job of communication on their end as well. You just have to be aware of where he is, and they do a great job of communicating on their end as well,” McDermott said. “That was a big part of their formula last week, and I’m sure one of their big goals this week against us will be to take the ball away.

“We have to be very aware of that and do our part in terms of respecting the football. They thrive off of taking the ball away and setting their offense up with short fields.”

That ruthless defense is anchored by arguably the best linebacker in the NFL, Luke Kuechly. His ball-hawking abilities cause nightmares for opposing quarterbacks, and as McDermott noted, sets up their talented offense with a short field.

“Extremely talented, you’ve heard me say this before, football team overall. Now they’ve added McCaffrey to a backfield that was already talented with Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker, and then Cam’s running ability. They’re a hard group to stop, we’ve got to be aware of situational football, and being aware all the time of how we line up and make sure we communicate,” McDermott said.

This Week Two matchup should tell us a lot about the 2017 Buffalo Bills. With a win they’ll stay at the top of the AFC East. 

3 - Poyer building off of solid Week One
With a sack and interception in his Bills debut, Jordan Poyer is just as focused in Week Two to ensure a repeat performance. The 6-0, 191-pound safety is making the most of his resources. He understands they’re playing the Carolina Panthers, and he understands some of their former players are now on his team.

“You have a lot of guys on this team that came from Carolina… its huge man. We’re using them to our advantage. Guys like [Joe] Webb, coming in and giving us tips on the quarterback,” Poyer said.

Joe Webb played with the Panthers for four seasons, serving as the third-string to Cam Newton. Poyer utilized Webb’s familiarity with his former team all week, the two were reviewing film on an Ipad together after a practice. Poyer’s looking to improve after an already stellar opening week performance.

“You always want to build off of the good, but you also have to understand that we did make some mistakes that game. They have to be corrected,” Poyer said.

Since coming over from Cleveland, Poyer seems completely bought into Sean McDermott’s system. We’ll see if he can be just as much as an x-factor in the team’s first road game of the season.

SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY

As the Bills get ready for their first road game of the season, they have support from Bills fans all over Charlotte.