The Case for Peanut…

I recently came upon the career statistics of Bears’ CB Charles Tillman, who has been with the team since being drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Something to the effect of him being one of seven or eight players to have 20 Interceptions and 20 Forced Fumbles in their career. EVER. (The other players are CB Charles Woodson, CB Dre Bly, S Brian Dawkins, CB Nate Clements, LB Seth Joyner, LB Derrick Brooks, and CB Rod Woodson. Anytime you are in that small a company in the history of the NFL, it is saying something—especially when you consider that Woodson is already in the Hall of Fame, and Woodson, Dawkins, and Brooks are on their way. When Tillman arrived in Chicago, Brian Urlacher was already established as the big name defensive player. Then Lance Briggs came along. Now Julius Peppers. Peanut Tillman has probably been one of the most underrated players in the history of the Chicago Bears; and I wanted to a) give Bears’ fans everywhere a greater appreciation of TIllman’s career by comparing his statistics against the DBs of his era; and b) ask these questions:

1) How has Tillman NEVER been to a Pro Bowl?

2) Being that this was the first year Tillman played in all 16 games, if Tillman plays a few more years–and gets up to 30 INTs and 30 FF—does he warrant consideration for the Hall of Fame?

Charles Tillman just completed his 8th season in the NFL. Lets look at where he stands statistically:

Tackles(among CBs):

1. Antoine Winfield, CB, Vikings        702

2. Ronde Barber, CB, Buccaneers       689


Third, out of all CBs that have played from 2003-2010 is not too shabby…


1. Ed Reed, S, Ravens             49

2. Asante Samuel, CB, Eagles  42

3. Darren Sharper, S, Saints     36

4. Charles Woodson, CB, Packers    35

5(t). Champ Bailey, CB, Broncos   32

DeAngelo Hall, CB, Redskins

7(t). Rashean Mathis, CB, Jaguars   29

Dre Bly, CB

9. Terence Newman, CB, Cowboys     28

10(t). Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers    27


I thought interesting that Tillman has just as many INTs as Polamalu, who is known as a big-play, ballhawk.

Forced Fumbles:

1. Robert Mathis, DE, Colts              34

2. Dwight Freeney, DE, Colts           32

3(t). Julius Peppers, DE, Bears        28

Osi Umenyiora, DE, Giants

Jason Taylor, DE, Jets

6(t). Demarcus Ware, DE, Cowboys    25

John Abraham, DE Falcons


Notice how Tillman is the first DB on this list; the next highest DB is S Brian Dawkins (Eagles, Broncos) with 20; The nest CB on this list is Nate Clements (Bills, 49ers) with 17.

Other statistics Tillman ranks highly on among CBs in this era include: Games Played (tied for 15th); Solo Tackles (3rd); Touchowns Scored (tied for 3rd).

Do I honestly think Tillman will get a bust in Canton? Probably not. But, as you can see by the career he has constructed in Chicago, Peanut definitely deserves his hame spoken about when you are talking about the elite DBs in the NFL over the last 10 years.

24 responses

  1. lincoln1

    The bears are not going to spend any money this offseason. the players we get will be through the draft. jennings has played well enough to get the start next season. The bears are not exactly a team that knows how to follow up success

    January 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    • johnnyharvard

      Stop with the pessimism already. They’ve already proven several of your stereotypes wrong.

      January 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

  2. johnnyharvard

    Yeah but he has less miles on him because he’s rarely involved. Not sure I’d want to invest in the draft as I like what I saw in both Moores. Eventually DJ will be off nickle and replacing Tillan or Jennings.

    And I lie the way the lines played today. They need to replace Omiyale though. all lineman have gotten better during the season while Omiyale has gotten worse. They like their young developmental guys like Louis and Edwin Williams, not to mention that House dude they picked up. Whats his name? Johnson? I really want a WR and a DT and a FS. Get a vet to play the line. last thing we need is a rookie trying to learn the ropes. There will be no studs at 28th or lower which the Bears are guaranteed to chose from no later than 28th. If they lose and Jets win they pick 28th. Its more likely they chose 29th or lower.

    January 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    • You know a team like the Jets or Cowboys are going to drive the bidding way up on Asomugha. If you can get him on a 3 year contract, i might d it. But he is going to want one of those 7 or 8 year deals like Plummer duped the 49ers into a few years back. I tell you what tho, you got guys like Jonathan Joseph from Cincy, and Carlos Rogers from Washington that might be cheaper options that could also fit the cover-2 much better than Asomugha. Not sure if Asomugha wants to go to a team where he will be forced into being a read-react CB that has to be able to give up his body and tackle people.

      January 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      • johnnyharvard

        Well like said you adjust to your talent. Any system can accommodate any player, or as Angelo wisely says its a bad system.

        Going back to the draft did you see Kiper having the Bears picking a CB 31st? forgot the name, but thats very interesting. Especially since the Bears had picked a couple CB’s they apparently like both named Moore coincidentally. I personally think he’s nuts, but hey.

        January 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      • yeah. McShay in the same mock had us taking Drake NEvis, the Warren Sapp-clone from LSU. That would have me borderline ecstatic. You put Izzy, T Harris, Nevis, and Peppers on the same line, and it would be pretty much instoppable.

        January 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      • johnnyharvard

        Yeah that’s an interesting name. I like him. The guy Kiper picked was Arron Williams from texas. What do you know about him? I hear he’s a ballhawking CB from what I’ve read. Another thing he had us picking 31st so he thinks we’re the superbowl runners up.

        January 20, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      • aaron williams is a guy who has come up the boards during the late part of the season, and will probably KILL IT during workouts. maybe one of those guys that will end up being picked before the bears do. B-wise, i like Brandon Harris from Miami better if he is available—a guy who can play zone or man. For our scheme, I actually like Ras-I Dowling from Virginia in the 3rd or 4th round the best. most locks have him going in the 2nd or 3rd round because he lacks “elite” speed.

        Reminds me of Charles Woodson.

        January 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

    • as far as the draft, i think there will be good depth at OG and C later in the first round. But you do need a guy that can step in right away.

      January 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      • the good news is, as we saw with Jamarcus Webb this year, Tice seems to be a much better O-line scout than anyone we have ever had here.

        January 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      • johnnyharvard

        I think CB if find a special one is a good choice, but again it all depends who is there. If someone is available at a need spot thats overwhelmingly the best player of any left you don’t hesitate. If he’s Woodson you get him. Thats a DPOY type right there. All pros are what you want on your team.

        January 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm

  3. johnnyharvard

    Looking back at your other replies I agree that Harris making those calls back there would be a plus. Still not sure why Steltz isn’t a consideration. Oh well. I don’t like Wright in coverages. He’s definitely a rotation player as an in the box safety. Bears still need to get a FS.

    January 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm

  4. johnnyharvard

    Well adjustments would have to be made. You can play more Cover 1. Asomugha shuts one side of the field down himself. People can talk Revis Island all they want, but Asomugha is THE best cover corner in the NFL. The stats show it. I mean they do not throw to him. It just doesn’t happen. Thats another factor to consider when you use stats. Stats in football probably are as useless as an indicator as any sport. Asomugha has poor stats. like 20 tackles and 1 INT. But you can’t compile stats if they don’t throw to you. So thats probably another reason why those CB’s and Safeties you compared Peanut to are so underwhelming in comparison. Less opportunities.

    January 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    • the other problem i have is you can count on one hand the number of CBs in the last 25 years that have been worth the money they earn in free agency. and Asomugha will be 30 next year. not a good age to invest alot of money is a CB. Id rather us go get a guy in the draft, if we are unhappy at CB.

      January 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      • johnnyharvard

        Oh and yes Tillman should’ve been in at least 3 pro bowl I can think of.

        January 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

  5. johnnyharvard

    Yes free safety I think was the position forhim once he lost his speed after his last knee operation. before that he was a shut down CB waiting to happen. his rookie year he was a blanket on some of the best receivers of all time! Te Central was stacked with receiving talent. Driver, Freeman, Moss. What I remember the most was that amazing INT in the end zone against Moss. Just beat him at his game. I think if he hadn’t sustained permanent knee damage he may have very well been a HOFer.

    Speaking of shut down CB’s I’d love the Bears to go out and get MR. Nnamdi Asomugha! If they have enough that would be one of two major free agent pick ups I’d make. The other being mankins, although the way Omiyale is playing today maybe the other Patriot Limeman Light would be a better move. The inside guys are looking real good today. They6 are so athletic out there and executing that counter trey to perfection. From both sides too. I think C. Williams may be salvageable after all. LG may be his spot.

    January 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    • I am not so sure Asomugha is the answer for us, if we stay with the cover-2 scheme. How is his tackling? I would really like to see Joshua Moore play some more. we all have seen the difference between rookie year and 2nd year in guys like Earl Bennett and DJ Moore. If we have the money going to Manumaleauna and Taylor coming off the books, I say our priority should be LT or RT. Or an OG.

      January 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  6. johnnyharvard

    Tillman has not only been under-appreciated by Bear fans but I heard him getting roasted as a bum by them on talk radio for years. Really badly too. Like hateful! Just amazing. Bear fans are pretty stupid. That being said he’snot a HOFer. He’s a guy that made the most of his career, but not a HOFer. To me you have to be dominant and he has had a lot of breakdowns too and has played the bulk of his career with tat cover 2 protection which leads to Turnovers. I love Peanut. One of my all time favorite Bears, but not a HOFer IMO. What about you? What do you think?

    January 16, 2011 at 11:43 am

    • def not a hall of famer, but should be talked about as one of the best 4 or 5 CBs in the NFC. I think had he not been in a cover 2, he would have made a heck of a FS.

      January 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    • …but I did want to show how his stats stack up against the best CBs of his day. I think he is way too overlooked…

      January 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      • johnnyharvard

        He is way overlooked. But he just should’ve had a pick and dropped it as we speak. His hands are average only.

        January 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      • why he is not a WR, i guess, right? LOL

        January 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      • I hope Major Wright stays healthy, because Chris Harris left the game with a hip injury. hope its not serious going into the Packers game next week.

        January 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      • I’m just saying that its a crime that this guy has NEVER been to a Pro Bowl. Not 1? Even with all the guys that usually drop out due to injury or apathy? Although I always thought Mike Brown should have had 3 or 4, and he only had one, i think…

        January 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm

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