Will Charles “Peanut” Tillman get his bust in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day?
There has been plenty of discussion lately about what former Chicago Bears’ should receive a spot in Canton. With Brian Urlacher now enshrined as of last season, the discussion moves on to some of the Bears other recent players.
Charles Tillman is one of the more interesting cases when considering him for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
When the voters get together on the day before the Super Bowl, many of them have preconceived notions about players that sometimes help a player get in, but many times are a hindrance.
In Tillman’s case, those notions are probably more of a hindrance.
When a voter first glances at a player’s career, the first thing they usually look at is All-Pro. For Tillman, he only has one first team All Pro, and that is woeful number for Hall of Fame voters. Voters may look past it if they at least have several Pro Bowl nods, but in Tillman’s case, he only has two.
Truthfully, for most voters, that’s where the conversation ends. If a player earned one All-Pro spot and 2 Pro Bowl spots over an entire career, clearly they weren’t considered elite when they played, so why should they get the highest honor?
But Tillman’s case can be made statistically.
Of players whose careers began in 2000 or later, players that have truly played in this modern era of offense where interceptions are way down, Tillman’s 38 career picks are 5th among those players. In terms of passes defended, Tillman is tied for 14th all-time.
Tillman also wasn’t afraid of contact, he averaged six tackles per game, which is an impressive number for anyone in the secondary. He also managed 24 of those tackles behind the backfield throughout his career as well, another impressive number.
But what really separates Tillman apart from his peers is his ability to force fumbles. The “Peanut Punch” is a clinic on how to perfectly knock the ball out of the ball carriers arms. Tillman forced 44 fumbles over the span of his career.
That number puts him sixth all-time. What’s more impressive about that number is that the five players in front of him- Robert Mathis, Julius Peppers, John Abraham Dwight Freeny, and Jason Taylor- are all defensive linemen. Even more impressive than that is that Tillman played only 168 career games. Every other one of those players in front of him played significantly more games.
More from Bear Goggles On
- Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL
- How the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023
- The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forward
- Chicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback
- 7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears
If you make a statistic, fumbles forced per games played, Tillman would be at 0.261. Jason Taylor would be at 0.197. Freeny is at 0.211. Abraham is at 0.245. Peppers is at 0.195. And the career leader, Mathis, is at 0.281.
Of the top 6 fumble forcers of all-time, only Robert Mathis has managed to cause more fumbles per games played than Tillman. Defensive coaches always say that they don’t just want a defensive back that just does the routine, they want playmakers. Tillman was exactly that.
When Tillman played, for whatever the reason, he never got much love on the All-Pro team or even the Pro Bowl, but when you look at his numbers, they are as impressive as plenty of hall of fame caliber players.
Tillman’s lack of All-Pro nods is certainly going to hurt him, but his statistics speak for themselves. Tillman won’t probably be a hall of fame finalists when he’s first eligible, but he will make his way to the finalist level at some point, and when that happens, there is going to be a lengthy debate about his resume and if it’s worthy of a bust in Canton.