CHARLES TILLMAN #33 Cornerback
10th / Louisiana-Lafayette
Bio - Tillman, a Pro Bowler in 2011, has spent his career with the Bears and leads the Bears with 30 interceptions since 2003 (26 over the past seven seasons). During his Pro Bowl season, Tillman had 113 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 interception return touchdowns, 13 PBUs, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 sack, and 4 TFLs. He led the team in PBUs and forced fumbles, tying for the team lead in fumble recoveries with four. His four forced fumbles were also tied for fifth most in the NFL. Tillman holds the franchise record for interception return touchdowns with five; his 535 interception return yards are second in team history. Throughout his career, Tillman has 799 tackles, 30 interceptions, 94 PBUs, 29 forced fumbles, 3.0 sacks, and 8 return touchdowns. With 28 forced fumbles since 2003 (the most in the NFL among defensive backs and seventh most in the league overall), Tillman also stands as Chicago's active leader with 94 career PBUs and has led the team for five years (in addition to tying the team lead in 2007).
Lou's Call – Tillman FINALLY received the respect he so well deserves with his first Pro Bowl invite in the 2011 season. "Peanut" is getting ready for his 10th NFL season and there hasn't been a better fit for Lovie Smith's cover 2 defensive scheme. While Tillman won't admit it, I felt last year was absolutely his best. He had a career high in tackles, forced four fumbles with his patented "punch" and had his 5th career interception return for a touchdown setting a new franchise record. Oh and did I mention, shutdown the Lions Charles Johnson at Soldier Field! Tillman keeps a suspect secondary together and can't afford to be lost.
Tom's Take – I have long believed Tillman is one of the leagues most underrated CBs. While he may have lost a step, he more than makes up for it with his size, technique and football IQ. As we have seen, he can handle himself when left alone with the leagues best receivers. No one in football is better at forcing fumbles.