Charles "Peanut" Tillman said his NFL career was about more than just the popular "Peanut Punch" technique he used to create turnovers, but that notwithstanding, the retired Bear said John Fox's team really needs to do something about its lack of takeaways.
"They got to get a ball hawk, a corner that knows how to strip the ball or a safety that hits real hard and separates the man from the ball," Tillman, who forced 44 fumbles in his 13-year career, told Inc. "They had 11 takeaways (last season), which is a no bueno situation."
Tillman noted how Lovie Smith's teams led or were among the league leaders in takeaways.
"We didn't just talk about it, we were about it," Tillman said. "We had a football hanging over our defensive meeting room and every time we would walk in and out of the room we would slap the football. We brought that football with us when we would travel. ... We did it in practice all the time, we did it just walking the halls. A guy would have Pulibet a phone, a book, something, and we would knock it out of his hand. So when we got into games, it was natural, it was habit, it was second nature."
Tillman said camaraderie in the locker room is another essential element the Bears need to ensure exists at Halas Hall.
"You have to have guys that are willing to pay the price and sacrifice for the person next to him," he said. "I wanted to win one (Super Bowl) for Brian Urlacher. I knew he was older. I knew his time was coming to an end. Not just for Brian but Julius Peppers, Olin Kreutz, Patrick Mannelly — all the older guys, guys that been in before me and put in their time and they had the sweat equity."
Tillman said he remains close with teammates from his heyday, such as Anthony Adams, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown.
"I talked to Double A the other day," he said. "All the guys are still pretty close because we all live in this area."
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