GM rules out Tillman move to safety

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The arrival of cornerback Kyle Fuller will not force 33 year old veteran Charles Tillman to move to safety.

Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery confirmed Friday that Tillman is not a candidate to switch positions.

"You can rule that out 100 percent -- you don't even have to finish your question," Emery said. Charles Tillman is our starting corner and that's where he's going to be."

Emery's endorsement of Tillman nonwithstanding, Fuller is expected to contribute on defense next season and projects to be a future starter at cornerback, perhaps as early as 2015.

That much is certain.

However, the great unknown is how Fuller meshes with Tillman and fellow two-time Pro Bowler Tim Jennings, who has the security of a new four-year, $22.4 million contract extension he signed at the end of the regular season. Tillman signed a one-year deal with the Bears in March after he explored his options in free agency.

How will Tillman react to having his potential replacement looking over his shoulder?

We don't know the answer. But Emery isn't worried.

"I have to be honest with you -- it's rare that you do that [consult a veteran before making a draft choice at the same position], as we're so focused on getting the best player available and I completely trust the input of our scouts and coaches during that process," Emery said. "And we come to a conclusion and work through who is the best player at that pick, who represents the most value and who can help the Bears win. That's where the focus is, we don't bring players in and ask their advice on that, we know they'll be excited and are excited that we pick a good player that they see can contribute to wins. That's when they get excited.

"But I definitely had players text me last night and congratulate us on the pick and it was good to hear from them. And like Coach mentioned, we're a family, we're here for each other and we're going to help Kyle through this process. He'll probably have more than one mentor to help him through the process, and what's exciting about that is Kyle's the type of person who can accept mentoring. It takes a certain level of maturity to let others reach out and help along the way and Kyle is certainly that type of person."