Will Charles Tillman be in Canton?
By: Jake Rajala
The former fearless Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, also known as Peanut, retired and left behind a breathtaking football career in the 2016 off-season. Tillman hit the ground running in his rookie campaign – as he notched four ints, 12 pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and two forced fumbles (of course). He proceeded to record five interceptions in 2005 (including a pick-six) and in 2006, yet he failed to make the Pro Bowl in each of those seasons. He obtained his first ticket to the Pro Bowl in 2011 and in 2012 (which also resulted in him obtaining first-team All-Pro honors).
In 2012, the Bears CB obtained 10 forced fumbles, 3 defensive touchdowns, 3 ints, and 16 pass deflections.
Tillman finished his career w/ 38 interceptions, 8 defensive touchdowns, 44 FFs, and 930 combined tackles. It’s safe to say that he has been one of the most productive and authentic defensive backs in NFL history. With that said, there is a grand, interesting question surrounding the former Bears legend: Is Tillman a future Hall of Famer?
Tillman certainly has a strong case to end in football heaven. He is the only DB that ranks in the Top-10 in forced fumbles. He may not have been an impressive ball-hawk in the grand scheme of things, but he could still create turnovers with his fists at an extremely high level.
Furthermore, Tillman was a very valuable piece on the Bears from 2003 to 2013. Tillman was able to help his team reach the Super Bowl in 2006, while Rex Grossman threw 20 interceptions. He was also a key component of a potent Bears defense that continuously kept the ship afloat with the TO machine in Jay Cutler.
All in all, Tillman was gifted, unique, and consistent in the NFL. I really feel it would be a tragedy if Tillman and his Muhammad Ali-like hands were kept out of the Hall of Fame.