Cornerback Charles Tillman spent time Thursday talking with the “SVP & Russillo” show on ESPN radio, and discussed his desire to return for a 13th season with the Chicago Bears, whether he thinks quarterback Jay Cutler can finally shed his enigmatic persona, and more.
You can hear the entire interview here.
Would you like to return to the Chicago Bears for the 2015 season?
Tillman: Oh yeah, most definitely. I would love to be back in Chicago. But that’s not up to me. That’s up to the new GM. His name is Ryan Pace. So that’s up to him and coach [John] Fox.
What happened last season?
Tillman: We were a not-so-good team. We fell apart on all levels. We just weren’t a good team. I think the talent was there. But we just didn’t show up on the field.
The organization brought in coaches to fix Cutler. Does that mean it’s impossible to keep any consistency on the defensive side when you go so far the other way?
Tillman: I don’t think it was impossible. I think one of the things with our defense was we didn’t make the plays that we were supposed to make. We missed a lot of layups. There were some things that we changed that just didn’t work out. All the blame doesn’t go on the coaches. It takes coaches and players to make things right when you have it good, and it takes both to make it wrong when it doesn’t go the right way. We weren’t hitting on all cylinders.
Why the change from Marc Trestman to Fox?
Tillman: Someone told me a stat the other day. I think since 1956, this was the first previous head coach that we had. I think the organization is headed in the right direction. I like the hire. I met Coach Fox and I’ve talked to other players that he’s coached. They said that he’s a player’s coach. He’s an unbelievable person, great head coach. He’s a guy that you want to play for. I’m excited.
Can Cutler be a success for the Chicago Bears?
Tillman: I think he can be a success for the Chicago Bears, but I think ultimately that’s up to him and what he wants to do.
Tillman: Can he take it to the next level? You want to make a name for yourself as a player, and I think he can do that. I think there are a lot of negative stereotypes when people talk about Jay Cutler. I think he can. I think that’s up to him though.
Cutler has underachieved his entire career.
Tillman: You’ve got your theory. Like I said, I think Jay Cutler can be that guy if he chooses to. That’s up to him, whether it’s mentally just taking it to that next level, mentally getting in the zone to where he’s hitting on all cylinders with receivers, players, coaches, leading. I think that’s a choice he has to make.
Do you think Fox will want to go with Cutler as the quarterback?
Tillman: I don’t know. We will see. I don’t know Coach Fox’s mindset. I don’t know what he’s thinking, if he wants to start over. I could not tell you.