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Write Now Blog

Bears preach family-first environment

Posted by Larry Mayer on November 7, 2012 – 4:08 pm

If Charles Tillman chooses to attend the birth of his fourth child instead of playing in Sunday night’s game against the Texans, that would be just fine with coach Lovie Smith.

“It’s family first,” Smith said. “If there’s something you feel like you need to do for your family, always do that. How we look at it is like an injury. If a player can’t go, it’s next guy up and we’ll keep going.”

Tillman first mentioned the possibility of missing the game during a radio interview Tuesday night on WSCR-AM 670. He declined to discuss the situation in detail Wednesday, saying only that he would play in the game if his wife Jackie gave birth Sunday morning.

In 2008, their three-month-old daughter Tiana was diagnosed with dilated cardiomypathy and needed a heart transplant to survive. She eventually received one and remains healthy.

“At the end of the day, [family] is all you have,” Tillman said. “This game is important to me. But after what we went through with my middle child, Tiana, to me football is second. It’ll always be second or third in my life. That was a great lesson learned. When I’m done playing football, my family will always be there for me.”

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