Charles Tillman came into the NFL in 2003 as a second round pick out of Louisiana-Lafayette. Tillman had a pretty solid rookie season, appearing in all 16 games, making 86 tackles, one sack and four interceptions.
Tillman was named NFL Rookie-of-the-Year and an All-Pro by Sports Illustrated while receiving NFL Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year honor from Football Digest.
In 2004, Tillman only appeared in 8 games suffering an injury in week three. 2005 and 2006 were perhaps Tillman’s best seasons, where he posted 80 plus tackles, five interceptions and forced fumbles left and right.
The last three seasons Tillman has combined for eight interceptions, 247 tackles, two interceptions for touchdowns and 14 forced fumbles. Six of those forced fumbles came last season. Tillman forced a career high three fumbles in a game against Philadelphia last season.
Tillman has been playing through injuries the last couple of seasons, but he is still an elite cornerback in the NFL.
I had the chance to catch up with Charles this week and I asked him about how he got his nickname, “Peanut”, where he likes to dine in Chicago and much more.
Q: First of all how are you doing Charles?
A: I’m doing fine
Q: Was it always your dream to play in the NFL?
A: I’ve always wanted to play in the NFL since I was a kid.
Q: How did you get the nickname Peanut?
A: My aunt gave me the nickname when I was a little baby and it just stuck. I was a small kid growing up.
Q: I know your known as the strip king, when it comes to taking away fumbles. How did you become so good at it?
A: It was something I started doing in college. Our coached preached turnovers…
Q: What is your pregame ritual consist of?
A: Going through warm-ups with Lance, playing this throwing game, getting taped by same trainer, stretching at a certain time… things like that.
Q: What kind of drills do the cornerbacks get put through?
A: Lots of hip and foot work drills.
Q: Is it tough moving from the left cornerback position to the right cornerback position? And what have you taught Zack Bowman?
A: Its not tough it just takes a few days to get use to it. I just tell Zack that he is good and keep making plays.
Q: What is your ultimate goal that you want to get from the NFL?
A: I want to make a name for myself… so far I think I’m doing ok.
Q: What is your ultimate goal in life?
A: Live life to the fullest, grow old with the wife, see my kids have kids and just relax
Q: Who is your role model? Who is the person who helped you get to this point?
A: My parents. They did a really good job of raising me and my brother and taught of life lessons.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to? What TV shows do you like to watch?
A:I’m a Drake fan, I also like Lil Wayne, mix with some Norah Jones and John Mayer. NCIS, Criminal Minds, The Unit, East bound and Down, and True Blood.
Q: What is your favorite food? Where do you go to eat in Chicago?
A: I love soul food. like to eat at steak houses all over, especially Morton’s.
Q: What is favorite vacation spot?
A: Anywhere in Europe
Q: What kind of feeling did you have when the team got to Miami for the Super Bowl and then when you came up short?
A: Good feeling when the game started, but after game was over, I was sick to my stomach.
Q: I’ve watched you play at the top of your game, but the last couple of seasons you have been hit with the injury bug. What do you have to do to avoid it this season?
A: Ask God to keep my healthy. I’ve only miss 6 games in last 4 years with all my injuries though… I will play through pain.
Q: Do your friends and family ever come to the games?
A: Yes they do… all the time
Q: What is your favorite part of football?
A: The feeling i get when i make a good play, the friendships you make along the way
Q: Who are you’re closest friends on the team or in the NFL?
A: I would say 55.
Q: Who are the beneficiaries of the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation?
A: The mission of the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation is to provide opportunities and resources to children or their families who are in need.
Q: How did you get involved in the foundation?
A: I wanted to start a foundation that helps families in tough times. I am truly blessed with great support from the entire Chicagoland community and corporate sponsors, like Meijer and Fifth Third Bank. They make it possible for us to continue to help more and more families each year.
Q: Why did you get involved in the foundation?
A: Our daughter got sick and that’s what started the foundation.
Q: Thank you Charles for your time, have a great season.
A: Thank you no problem anytime.
Check it out: Here is a link to perhaps the best play of Charles Tillman’s career.