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March 07, 2008

Panthers add running back Toefield

The Panthers have added another free agent signee – former Jacksonville running back LaBrandon Toefield.

Toefield (5-11, 235 pounds) has played sparingly as a backup for the Jaguars since getting picked in the fourth round of the 2003 draft.

He has rushed for 572 yards on 163 carries, scoring seven touchdowns by rush and two on pass receptions. Perhaps his best career stat: one career fumble.

He gives the Panthers depth behind starter DeAngelo Williams following the release of DeShaun Foster. It appears likely the Panthers will add another back in April’s NFL draft.


Posted by Observer Sports on March 7, 2008 at 06:21 PM | Permalink


I think that was a good pick up but
you never know what won Toefield can really Do !!!?

Posted by: Danny | Mar 7, 2008 6:33:45 PM

This is a nice signing. I have seen Labrandon play, he is fast, strong and smart. This is one of those signings that goes unnoticed at first, but then turns out to be a steal! Good Job Marty.....now go get Bryant Johnson (WR Cardinals) and move up in the draft for either (Long, Williams, Otah, Clady....Offensive Tackles) and all will be forgiven. "You start slow, but I still like ya'"

Posted by: Charlie | Mar 7, 2008 7:11:02 PM

Is he a brusier or will he fall on the first hit?
Does this mean they will wait until the third round to pick up a running back? Use the first two to get a T and second on D-Line? They probably got this guy pretty cheap too.

Moorehead signed with Atl so our next signing or two will be with DT. I think we are down to two or three.

Posted by: Gut | Mar 7, 2008 7:15:02 PM

Some people are impossible to please. But at least ya kept it upbeat! Thanks.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 7, 2008 7:19:59 PM

He can bang with 'em...I remember watching him run a couple of times when he had to step in when Taylor was out w/ various injuries. He's stout..kinda built like Stewart and Mendenhall (5'11" 232, or very close to that).

Plus he was on Jax roster listed as a KR too..so he has to have some speed and agility. The man was buried behind Taylor and Jones-Drew..and honestly, when I first read the free agents back before the madness, I saw his name at the bottom (of course after Turner, Jones, Duckett etc)..and I instantly thought that he would be a good fit in our offense. that's just me though, I'm satisfied with the signing...2 excellent ones in 1 day. Hurney is on fire!!

Posted by: Styles | Mar 7, 2008 7:30:48 PM

Why the Rush?,Marty and John,Take your time,This is all about gettin it right,TAKE YOUR TIME!,NO NEED TO RUSH,WE DONT NEED ANOTHER BUST!

Posted by: #1 Fan | Mar 7, 2008 7:35:23 PM

I can see they are yound depth with talent that has underperformed failrly cheap. If one of these guys pans out its great but this is all about young cheap(er) depth....We need to add some talent in the draft and supliment further after more roster cuts from other teams hit the market....None of these signing are bad, they just are not glamour signings...

These guys are not dumb and realize their jobs are at stake so this makes sense....young talented cheap quantity and let them play it out and keep the best.

I would expect to see one major signing after the draft pans out!

Posted by: Local | Mar 7, 2008 8:12:44 PM

With Julius Jones in Seattle, now Shaun Alexander could be available. The Panther might be able to pick him up for a 5th rounder. Seattle probably will just want to get rid of him now.

Posted by: Bryan | Mar 7, 2008 9:19:21 PM

Toefield is not a bad pick up - he does not have any really bad attributes and played well when he played, he just never played much because Fred Taylor stayed healthy and Jones-Drew immediately became an elite running back. Besides, we will probably only need him for about 5-10 touches a game.

Posted by: James | Mar 7, 2008 9:28:17 PM

Guys, in 2003.. When Marty and Fox picked up Stephen Davis, everyone screamed we picked up a broken down, over used RB..You said, why would the Redskins let him go.. Plus he had major injury the prior year.. Everyone screamed for Hurney's head.. Then he quietly picked up this QB to back up Rodney Peete (who was called to old)..and everyone asked why they were scrapping the bottom of the barrel for a guy who couldn't even start in NFL Europe.. Then we picked up this old, slow WR, that was way past his prime.. Everyone went nuts, we needed young Studs, that need to be BIG, Fast, yada..yada,,, At the end of 2003, we were the "Toast of the NFL".. Why don't all the experts on here, just sit back and take a deep breath. All the moves the Panthers have made in FA, so far have been smart, for the plain fact, that this year was a very bad year for FA's.. The Draft is deep in several areas of need for the Panthers.. And don't start that same old crap, about how Hurney can't draft, go visit some other NFL team sites, their fans say the same thing. The Draft is a roll of the dice, you do your homework, you pick a guy..and hope he is what was on the cover, but you don't know, until they get to camp.. let's see what happens in April, then in July..OK...geez....

Posted by: Catsnmbr1fan | Mar 7, 2008 9:40:07 PM

Thanks Catsnmbr1fan! I'm lovin' it!! They still have needs, but in all reality, if they draft a quality LT (which is pretty much in the bag this year) than at this point they can take the roster they already have to war. But guess what.... the buck doesn't stop there!! Go, Panthers, go!!!

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 7, 2008 10:01:31 PM

I also love the pick up. Two great pickups in one day. Is that a franchise record? Perhaps we all second guessed Hurnia and Foxy on this one. Now what does everyone think about chasing down Shaun Alexander if the shehawks cut him? (The reason why they would is because they signed Julius Jones like an hour ago)

Posted by: Ivan | Mar 7, 2008 10:06:52 PM


I think the concern lies with the 4 free agency periods and 4 drafts since the '03 season. One good year out of the last 5 is reason enough to be concerned.

Posted by: I hate the Falcons, Saints & Bucs | Mar 7, 2008 10:25:47 PM

this guy will probably win the starting job. he can definitely carry the load....this is a "Fox" kind of runner.

Posted by: hoof_hearted | Mar 7, 2008 11:27:18 PM

this is interesting...the seahawks signed julius jones and t.j. duckett this offseason, and i heard a report from espn saying there is a good chance shaun alexander will get released,he's been injured but i think that could be a real nice pick up if the money was right, smitty wanted him here after the 05 season why not now if he gets released?

Posted by: james | Mar 7, 2008 11:33:11 PM

this is interesting...the seahawks signed julius jones and t.j. duckett this offseason, and i heard a report from espn saying there is a good chance shaun alexander will get released,he's been injured but i think that could be a real nice pick up if the money was right, smitty wanted him here after the 05 season why not now if he gets released?

Posted by: james | Mar 7, 2008 11:33:48 PM

this is interesting...the seahawks signed julius jones and t.j. duckett this offseason, and i heard a report from espn saying there is a good chance shaun alexander will get released,he's been injured but i think that could be a real nice pick up if the money was right, smitty wanted him here after the 05 season why not now if he gets released?

Posted by: james | Mar 7, 2008 11:34:04 PM

OK now ,Ryan clady is NOT in the top 10 of ANY ot workout category at the combine or pro-day. http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-performers(URL) there is NO WAY i'm taking a guy on reputation alone he should at least be a top 5 average in 1 of the 7 drills if he worked out and played at boise state that's not big time cfb man! ,had a pec pull-up on the bench press imo is a 3rd rounder at best ,imo there really is no ol that i would get other then 1 of our 2 3rd picks when we can't get one of the top big rb's past the 2nd rd at #44 would really be stretching it and a good de in the 2nd rd maybe.this draft is deep at ol and more teams are looking at rb/de this year.here is his pro day work out stats :Clady showcased an unofficial 40- 5.16 31-inch vertical jump and a nine-foot broad jump.

Most notable in attendance observing Clady were the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears. All four teams hold selections in the top 15.

That is still not 1st rd performance if he did workout he would have scored in the ol order as follows:
2.vert's 1st (explosive)impressive but he's not gonna be catchin' jump balls
3.broad jump.t-9th
4.bench press 24 reps @225lbs wow thats tied for 1st among wr's(pulled up lame pectoral)

now show me the cred he's a 1st rd pick again because that's not enough!

not working out is kind of a red flag that say's I DON'T LIKE EQUAL COMP FOR MY $ a ot pulling up on a 225 press c'mon what's he been doin' in training for this.

Posted by: rob | Mar 7, 2008 11:50:32 PM

what about rashard mendenhall,

Posted by: sedstar | Mar 8, 2008 8:42:38 AM

Toefield is a solid player (neither a scat back or real bruiser type) who is likely to excel with a team with above average run blocking and a commitment to running the ball. Considering the frequency of running back injuries, his departure from Jacksonville is a loss for the Jaguars and I think a good pickup for Carolina.
He is one of those players who has had the misfortune of backing up stars who seemed to avoid injuries after he had matured enough to be a good alternative.

Posted by: melosh | Mar 8, 2008 9:27:06 AM

We needed to sign a running back, I know. But this is the best that we could do? I like the 1 career fumble but barely 3.5 yards a carry? I would expect more from a guy that size, who also subs as a return man. Not quite sold on this guy. I would rather have Mendenhall in the first as a change of pace back.

Posted by: rhackney | Mar 8, 2008 10:40:36 AM

He has the worst short yardage numbers I've seen of any back I've ever looked at - less than one (1) YPC. And he can't make the "bad offensive line" or "bad running game" arguments since he played his whole career for Jacksonville.

In short, he's a sizable downgrade from both Foster and Goings. And Alex Haynes. And probably Troy Flemming, for that matter.

Posted by: jdb1972 | Mar 8, 2008 11:07:03 AM

This may be a good picup. The Panthers are looking for healthy younger players that show they can play. They may have not started but they appear to be able to play. DeAngelo will start and he will battle for backup with Haynes and Goings if he is healthy. I think the Panthers know what they are doing. They just need to sign (Coleman or a good DT after losing Moorehead and Jenkins) another DE and OT.

Posted by: fayton | Mar 8, 2008 1:30:39 PM

If Coleman were 100% healthy then I'd think the front office would make a strong move to sign him, but with his latest injury possibly still lingering--and may even linger into next season--combined with his age I don't see the team inking him to any sort of deal.

But If he were completely healthy, I think it would be a great move to solidify the D-line with a proven veteran.

About Toefield, I'm still not sold on this guy, although he could turn out to be adequate behind a "re-vamped" O-line. Like Melosh says, Toefield is 'neither a scat back or real bruiser type.'

His numbers in college weren't all that impressive, and his numbers since have been even less so--granted he was buried on the depth chart behind two All-Pros. But even in his limited time carrying the ball for Jaxsonville he only managed a career Foster-like 3.5 yards per carry. Perhaps it's due to his lack of a burst, or maybe it's because he just isn't that good at this level.

--Here's an excerpt from PFW.com's observations of Toefield's performance at the 2003 NFL Combine.

"LSU’s LaBrandon Toefield was timed from the mid-4.5s to the low 4.6s in the 40, but he did run on a slow surface. His 20-yard shuttle (4.14), three-cone time (7.24) and jumps (30-inch vertical and 9-foot-7 broad jump) were not spectacular, causing speculation that Toefield could have used another year in school as the primary back in Domanick Davis’ absence. His vertical jump would have been the lowest among backs at the Combine."

Personally, I think we're just trading out one Deshaun Foster for another. But here's to hoping I'm wrong.

Posted by: hillbilly | Mar 8, 2008 2:56:11 PM

I totally agree, In no way was this at all an upgrade. I mean 3.5 YPC? Come one there are better back's out there that would compliment D-Will better than this guy. Ron Dayne would be a great pick up, Chris Brown, Derrick Ward,... Toefield probably won't even make the team.

Posted by: rdizzle | Mar 8, 2008 3:17:45 PM

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