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Charles Tillman: Man of the Year award is truly special

PHOENIX — Bears cornerback Charles Tillman said he won’t have a big role during the NFL Honors awards show on Saturday, but that hasn’t tempered his excitement.

Being part of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which recognizes players for their community efforts, always will be special. It was an emotional career highlight for him being named last year’s honoree.

“Each year the award gets more recognition because of the Honors,” Tillman. “That’s great. It’s a way that we can show the community, the fans that there a lot of great men in this league. And I’m just glad that they wanted me to be a part of that.”

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis and 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin are the 2014 finalists. David also was a finalist last year, and Tillman praised his efforts.

“[But] they all do amazing work,” Tillman said. “The one thing about the Man of the Year is that it’s only given to one person and we have so many men in this league that do great things.”

And Tillman is happy to see that the stage has grown for it. It’s considered by players to be a very prestigious award at the Honors.

“It’s a way for the U.S., the world to see that this is the Man of the Year,” he said. “They make a better show every single year.”


Twitter: @adamjahns