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Carolina Panthers

How Chuba Hubbard and Tommy Tremble's friendship betters them on the field

Tommy Tremble, Chuba Hubbard

CHARLOTTE – About 20 minutes after a regular practice ended Wednesday afternoon, running back Chuba Hubbard and tight end Tommy Tremble trickled into the Panthers' locker room – behind everyone else.

It's routine for the duo of third-years, close friends since they were drafted here in 2021. (Tremble went in the third round, Hubbard in the fourth.)

They've frequently done extra work after practice since their rookie year, and Tremble estimated they've been on a daily streak for a year and a half straight.

Tommy Tremble, Chuba Hubbard

"If he needed to work on something, boom, I'm here to help him do it," Tremble said. "If I need to work on something, boom, he's ready to help me too. I think that's what really kind of grew that friendship."

They'll agree that they found alignment in their approach to the NFL from the first day they got to Carolina. Hubbard called it a mutual desire to be great amid challenges in their first year.

"We both struggled with things a lot our rookie year, and we just ended up coming across and helping each other to pick each other up," Hubbard said. "In our struggles, we formed a friendship. Ever since then, we've been grind buddies, working together. I appreciate him."

Chuba Hubbard, Tommy Tremble

Tremble said his father Greg, who played in the NFL in the mid-1990s, told him it was tough to stay in the league, so he wanted to find a way to make his career last.

"Really hitting the ground full steam and giving 100 percent, both of us, we saw that," Tremble said. "And he gave me pointers, I gave him pointers. I'm like, 'Hey if you're having a little bit of trouble, let's hit the JUGS.'… I think that just helped us get some better."

The work Hubbard and Tremble have put in has paid off in extended playing time and scoring opportunities, with both playing cardinal roles in the Panthers' first win of the season last week against Houston.

Tremble caught the game's lone touchdown last Sunday on a one-yard pass from quarterback Bryce Young, marking his second end zone trip of the season.

Chuba Hubbard, Tommy Tremble

Meanwhile, Hubbard is the team's leading runner, as his 270 rushing yards and 69 attempts are both team highs.

"I was just telling (Tremble) yesterday, man; I tell him all the time how proud I am of him," Hubbard said. "We both work so hard, and we've just been waiting so long to see a little bit of success – our hard work come to fruition. And it's starting to do that, little by little bit.

"So the fact that he's been scoring touchdowns, and I'm happy with how I've been doing, being able to get on the field a little more. It's definitely a blessing. We're happy."

Hubbard played a critical role in Carolina's game-winning field goal drive, running for 4 yards, 4 yards, and then 3 yards for a first down, helping run the Texans' timeouts down with the clock.

Tommy Tremble, Chuba Hubbard

When Hubbard earned the offense's last first down on third-and-2, bursting 3 yards to extend the game-winning field goal, Tremble was elated.
"I think seeing him succeed, it's like, I feel the same feeling as me succeeding," Tremble said. "I'm just happy for him. I'm happy for the team, like it's amazing. Because on that drive, we needed it to win the game. (Third-and-2), we've got to get it, and he freaking got it. I was losing my mind. I love it. I love seeing that stuff."

The duo's teammates have noticed how much their work has translated to their success. Long snapper JJ Jansen commended Hubbard and Tremble for the effort they've shown and how it has paid off.

Chuba Hubbard, Tommy Tremble

"The young guys I've been super impressed with. Chuba has been phenomenal for three years. You know, I watch him and Tommy do extra work every day. Success, failure, playing, not playing, they're on the JUGS machine, they're in the weight room, they're challenging. …

"They've formed a fun bond in that. They're doing it together. Which, I think it's hard. … I think it's another form of peer-to-peer leadership. It's finding other guys that you want to build your career with."

Hubbard said he and Tremble close their post-practice routine with a competition where they start 20 meters away from the JUGS machine and gradually inch closer until one of them drops the ball.

Tommy Tremble, Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard claimed he hardly ever loses, and joked that Tremble would say the opposite.

"He would probably lie," he said. "But I'm telling you, I am the winner every day."
They agreed Tremble is more goofy and Hubbard's the more serious one, but both know how to crack a joke at the other or get the other in a better mood.

Their friendship has bettered the other on and off the field, and the Panthers are beginning to reap the rewards.

"I see it as a good dynamic," Tremble said. "Whenever I'm down, he can pick me up. Whenever he's down, I'm able to pick him up. And I think, really, that's what a good teammate and good friendship is really all about, being able to do that for each other."

Chuba Hubbard, Tommy Tremble

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