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Fromer Bears star Charles Tillman celebrates the Panthers blowout

Charles Tillman celebrates a Panthers touchdown during the NFC Championship Game (Photo via @_MarcusD_ on Twitter)

Throughout his career, fans, media members and fellow players would be hard-pressed to find a player more likable and respected than Charles Tillman. Now with the Panthers, Tillman is headed back to the Super Bowl.

Tillman was drafted by the Bears and spent 12 seasons with the team, including a 2006-07 run to the Super Bowl. This offseason, Tillman signed with another former member of the Bears, Ron Rivera, in Carolina.

The Panthers played the Arizona Cardinals Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. While Tillman has been sidelined for the remainder of the season with an injury, he played a big role in helping the team to a 15-1 regular season.

Sunday, after watching his defensive teammate Luke Kuechly return an interception for a touchdown, Tillman couldn’t hold back his emotions.

Tillman and Rivera aren’t the only former Bears helping the Panthers. They also have tight end Greg Olsen, who was drafted by the Bears in 2007.

There will be a familiar foe for Tillman and Rivera waiting in the Super Bowl. Just like when they reached the game with the Bears, it will be Peyton Manning on the other side of the field, this time with the Denver Broncos.