Bears teammates Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings are providing some pretty compelling evidence that they’re the best cornerback tandem in the NFL.
Tillman has been selected the NFC defensive player of the month for October after Jennings won the award in September. The two are the first cornerbacks from the same team to claim the award in back-to-back months.
“It’s special to see that, and they are playing at such a high level,” said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. “They’re great players, and they’re doing a great job.”
Tillman was honored after returning interceptions for touchdowns in back-to-back games and holding Lions Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson to three receptions for a season-low 34 yards. Jennings leads the NFL with a career-high six interceptions, one of which he brought back 25 yards for his first pro touchdown.
While the 6-2, 198-pound Tillman generally matches up against bigger receivers like Johnson, the 5-8, 185-pound Jennings shadows smaller, quick receivers such as the Panthers’ Steve Smith.
“He has his style; I have my style,” Tillman said. “I think it’s what makes our defense a little bit better than some, especially in years past the way we’re able to match up against different receivers. I definitely think that’s a bonus for us.”
Asked if he and Jennings should be recognized as the best cornerback tandem in the NFL, Tillman said: “I don’t know. We’re only halfway through the season, and I definitely think there’s some room for improvement with myself and Tim.
“The sky’s the limit. I definitely think we can, but you don’t get any awards halfway through the season for being the best cornerback tandem. I definitely think there’s potential for that. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing; making plays, covering receivers, creating turnovers, getting our offense some good field position and scoring.”
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