In a game of this magnitude, any edge, any advantage, can be the difference between a trip to the Super Bowl and one of the most devastating losses in franchise history. And Charles Tillman brings that edge for the Chicago Bears.
Every time a Green Bay Packers’ player carries that ball, they should have Tillman in the back of their mind. Because at any point, on any play, Tillman knows how to come through and force a big turnover.
“He just brings that to the table,” Bears’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “You can teach it, he just does it extrememly well.”
Be it a tomahawk swipe or a punch from behind, Tillman is always thinking of ways to get the football back in the Bears’ hands. For defensive coaches, Marinelli and Lovie Smith, who emphasize the importance of turnovers, Tillman represents the quintessential mindset for their players.
“The one thing we’re able to do,” Marinelli said, “is it magnifies it to the other players, that urgency to get the ball out. He is just exceptional. I don’t know if there’s been anybody, ever, in this game as good as this guy, how he takes the ball away, and his ball skills.”
Just like Julius Peppers has made the rest of the defense better, Tillman has a similar quality when it comes to turnovers.
“He puts an emphasis on it everyday,” Marinelli said, “for every guy on our defense, and our coaches.”