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Panthers’ Mike Tolbert hopes to play for Ron Rivera at Pro Bowl

Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert hopes to have a more comfortable trip to Hawaii this month.

Tolbert and his wife were in Hawaii on their honeymoon when a violent earthquake in Japan kept the two on high ground and out of the water. In two weeks, he’ll be back with his family – and Panthers coach Ron Rivera.

By virtue of having the best record between the losing NFC divisional round teams, the Panthers staff will coach the Pro Bowl team selected by Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Tolbert is one of five Panthers going to the Pro Bowl, but he doesn’t know if he’ll be with Rivera on Rice’s team or with Indianapolis’ Chuck Pagano on Deion Sanders’ team. Teams will be drafted Jan. 22 on NFL Network.

“I ain’t worried about getting the ball,” Tolbert said. “But with it being my first time I’ll be more comfortable being on his team, being around guys that I already know.”

Joining Tolbert in Hawaii for the Jan. 26 all-star game will be linebacker Luke Kuechly, quarterback Cam Newton, center Ryan Kalil and defensive end Greg Hardy.

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