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Write Now Blog

Recognition for Tillman well deserved

Posted by Larry Mayer on November 8, 2012 – 2:15 pm

While wondering why it has taken so long, Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs are happy that teammate Charles Tillman is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

A year after being voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, Tillman was named NFC defensive player of the month for October after winning two weekly awards and was praised by President Barack Obama during a nationally-televised interview the night before the election.

“Charles Tillman has been an integral part of our defense since he’s gotten here in 2003,” Briggs said. “He’s getting a lot of attention now. He should have been getting it for the past 10 years. He’s played at a high level. He’s an elite player and has always played at a high level. Now in Year 10 he’s taken it up to another level. He’s a defensive player of the year type player.”

In October, Tillman returned interceptions for touchdowns in back-to-back road wins in Dallas and Jacksonville, setting the Bears’ all-time record with eight defensive TDs. He also held Lions Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson to three receptions for a season-low 34 yards.

Tillman then forced a career-high four fumbles in last Sunday’s 51-20 rout of the Titans, increasing his season total to seven and giving him 36 forced fumbles in his career, the most among NFL defensive backs since he entered the league in 2003.

Urlacher doesn’t know why Tillman didn’t receive the credit he deserves until the past two seasons.

“Peanut should be getting a ton of recognition,” Urlacher said. “He’s played great the last four or five years. Look at his stats. He’s caused [36] fumbles, has [32] picks. It didn’t happen in the last two years. He’s played 10 years. He’s had those picks and all those big plays his whole career. It’s not just the one year he’s done it. I’m glad he’s getting it now because he deserves it.”

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