After a month filled of highlights, Bears cornerback Charles Tillman was named the NFC defensive player of the month for October on Thursday.
Tillman played a crucial role in the Bears going 4-0 in October. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns and also held Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson in check during “Monday Night Football.” Johnson recorded a season-low 34 yards on three catches when pitted against Tillman.
“It’s pretty cool,” Tillman said. “Obviously the two times I got it, I don’t think I could have gotten it without the help of my teammates. The pick-six against Dallas, Henry [Melton] made a good play and [Chris] Conte made a good play. Jacksonville, our d-line made the QB get rid of the ball. I got some great blocks by Lance [Briggs], by Brian [Urlacher]. So yeah, it’s team effort I share with them.”
Tillman is the second consecutive Bears player to be honored this season. Fellow cornerback Tim Jennings was the NFC defensive player of the month for September.
“He has his style, I have my style,” Tillman said. “I think it’s what makes our defense better than some. Especially in years past, where we could match up against different receivers, I definitely think that’s a bonus for us.”
Tillman did his best to deflect attention on Thursday.
“I don’t care about the recognition. I don’t care about the attention,” he said. “That’s ya’ll. If I get it, whatever, I’ll defer to someone else. I don’t think that makes me. We’re a team defense. The star of our defense is our defense.
“You can ask anybody, all 11 guys, at any given time. We all make plays. It’s not just me. It’s not just Lance. It’s not just [Julius Peppers]. It’s not just [Israel Idonije]. It’s not just Tim. It’s not just Henry. I can go on and on.
“The star of our defense is our defense. We’re all unselfish. We all make plays, and, for the most part, I’m happy with how we’re playing but there can be room for improvement. I think we can be a lot better.”
Tillman and Jennings are the second set of Bears to be honored in consecutive months. Defensive end Julius Peppers (November) and linebacker Brian Urlacher (December/January) did so in 2010.
Tillman recently took part in the Sun-Times’ “Street Tweets” after the Bears’ victory against the Lions, meeting fans all over the city.