Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman has quietly been a star since he came into the NFL in 2003.
He finally got his recognition last season when he was voted to the Pro Bowl. He racked up a career high 99 tackles, while adding three interceptions and four forced fumbles in 2011.
The guy can just flat out play football and the Bears new that when they selected him in the second round of 2003 NFL draft out of Louisiana-Lafayette.
This season though he is even better than ever. The big reason for that is the cornerback opposite of him is playing at an elite level as well.
Tim Jennings who plays opposite Tillman often covering the opposing teams No. 1 receiver has been rock solid. He leads the league in interceptions with six.
Tillman has 43 tackles, two interceptions and seven forced fumbles through eight games this season. Both of the interceptions he made he took to the house.
He forced four of those seven fumbles in the Week Nine blowout in Tennessee. Those four forced fumbles were the most by one player ever in one game.
According to ESPN Numbers, the Chicago Bears’ defense allows an average of 2.8 yards per play when Tillman isn’t on the field.
The guy is a game changer. The league is finally taking notice.
At 31 years old he is honestly only getting better. He was voted the NFC’s defensive player of the month in October.
He has over 700 tackles, 32 interceptions (seven returned for touchdowns) and 35 forced fumbles in his 10-year career. The guy plays through injuries often.
In an interview with Bears Backer in 2010, Tillman told me he “will play through pain.” He asks “God each and everyday to keep him healthy.”
When asking him about his nickname of Peanut, he told me this:
“My aunt gave me the nickname when I was a little baby and it just stuck. I was a small kid growing up.”
One thing is for certain he isn’t a small man and he isn’t on a small radar anymore. Everyone has taken notice. Even the President of the United States Barack Obama gave Tillman recognition by saying he should be voted as the defensive player of the year.
There aren’t many players like Tillman in the league right now. Many players are trying to duplicate his punch out skills.
Tillman mentioned earlier this week that he could miss Sunday night’s big matchup against Houston due to the birth of his second daughter. But he told Mike and Mike this morning that the baby is coming Monday and he will be out on the field Sunday night.
Bears fans should be honored that Tillman plays the way he does week in and week out. He has been a very good player his entire career, but this season he is playing flat out ridiculous.
His great play is a big reason the Bears are sitting a top of the NFC North at 7-1 right now.
Don’t forget about the Bears Backer/Chitown Clothing Chicago Bears T-Shirt Giveaway. This Saturday’s winner will take home this brand new “Peanut Tillman’s Punch Out” shirt. Keep liking/sharing Bears Backer on Facebook and Twitter to increase your chances of bringing home this awesome rare shirt.