Once considered a long-shot to make the team because of San Diego's depth in the backfield, Tolbert has not only survived but thrived. He's emerged as one of the Bolts' top special teams players and is splitting time with Jacob Hester at fullback.
His hard work paid off on Sunday when the Chargers -- who entered the game with the NFL's last-ranked rushing offense -- piled up 203 yards on the ground. Tolbert's running accounted for 58 of those yards while his blocking contributed to even more.
Tolbert capped off the victory the an 8-yard TD run, his second score in as many weeks (he caught a 20-yard TD in last week's win versus the Philadelphia Eagles). Afterward, he caught up with SDBoltReport.com's Samantha Fillerup for this exclusive one-on-one.
FB Mike Tolbert
Mike Tolbert: Not good, but we just kept fighting. We were 2-3 and now we are 7-3. We are on a good run. We are just trying to keep it up and get better each week.
SF: What role did Norv Turner play in keeping this team together during the rough start?
MT: He just told us every time that we were better than that. When we were 2-3, we were better than that. He told us to keep fighting and playing and that's what we're doing and trying to turn it around.
SF: Was there a particular point in the season where you felt like things were starting to turn around?
MT: We just knew that we could play better than 2-3. Norv just told us to get better each week. Everybody had to play a step better each week and that's what we have been trying to do this season.
SF: You guys won the turnover battle versus Denver, 3-0. How important was that?
MT: It was good. They had a few turnovers and we didn't have any, so that was one of the big keys in the game.
SF: From the opening drive it felt like you had Denver's number. Is that what it felt like to you on the field?
MT: No. They were doing some things that threw us off a little bit. So we had to adjust it at halftime and try to put the foot on the gas and match it. They stuck in there for awhile, but we had to finish the game. That's one of our big keys is finishing every game.
SF: The offense put up 32 points, yet you had to settle for four field goals. Do you feel like you were productive enough as a unit?
MT: I mean, this is a game of inches. You can be third-and-3 or third-and-an-inch and if you don't get it you have to kick a field goal. Either way it goes, as long as we put points on the board, we are happy. But obviously, we want touchdowns.
SF: What improvements does this offense still need to make?
MT: Nobody on this team is perfect, so everybody can get better at what they are doing -- pass blocking, pass protection, all kinds of things of that nature.
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