Whenever a team in the NFL signs a big-time free agent, one of the first comments from the team is that said player will compete in practice every day and make everyone around him better. According to Charles Tillman, Brandon Marshall coming to the Chicago Bears made Tillman a better player and he thanks the Bears for bringing No. 15 to town.
However, it wasn’t Marshall’s in-game production that Tillman was ranting and raving about; instead, he focused on Marshall’s effort in the dog days of training camp:
“There are days where I completely own him in coverage and there are days when he completely owns me, to where I can’t cover him for nothing.”
It’s hard to imagine a two-time All-Pro like Tillman getting beat on a daily basis, yet No. 33 insists that Marshall “made me a better player because of his work ethic,” so the two lining up against one another is truly a win-win situation for the Bears. In the same division as Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Tillman has gotten used to defending some of the best receivers in the game.
With that being said, the Bears’ cornerback feels that the gap between Johnson and Marshall really isn’t that big. After calling the comparison between the two wide receivers a “toss up,” Tillman didn’t shoot down the idea of Marshall being better than “Megatron” and the best wide receiver in the league as well:
“Some games I think it is Calvin…and some games I look at B and I’m like ‘Dang! This dude is unreal.’ “
I’ll tell you what: if that quote doesn’t get you fired up to see the Bears’ training camp battles this summer, then I don’t know what will!
At the end of the day, Tillman does line up on the defensive side of the ball, so let’s take a look at two players who he believes have the ability to have career years in 2013. After being asked who he thought would shoulder a lot of the load with Brian Urlacher out of the Windy City, Tillman offered up a rather bold endorsement of Chicago’s two starting safeties last year:
“Major Wright and Chris Conte played solid last year…the sky is the limit for these two young safeties…I definitely think they have what it takes to be at that high level of play.”
Tillman didn’t hold back when talking about these two guys, yet you kind of expect that when it comes to a fellow defensive back talking about his teammates. With that being said, both Wright and Conte have shown promise in the past, so maybe this is the year that they break out like Tillman is predicting.
In my mind, the Marshall and Tillman battle combined with the Conte and Wright maturation process should make us all excited for the Bears’ season in 2013.
Also, Charles Tillman is doing fantastic work with Allstate’s Give it up for the GOOD, so be sure to check out his great work and participate in the campaign by spreading positive vibes of your own!