Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk

Lake Forest- After the final whistle Sunday, Charles "Peanut" Tillman stood in the north end zone, waving his hands to get the attention of Minnesota wide receiver Randy Moss at the end of the game.

"I just wanted to wave 'bye' to him," Tillman said.

What Tillman was actually doing was gloating, and he had every right to do so as the Bears held Randy Moss and the Vikings out of the end zone in the second half on the way to a 24-14 victory at Soldier Field.

Moss and Tillman now have an official rivalry going and Tillman has come out the victor twice, which may be why he was waving two fingers toward Moss as Moss left the field.

During the week, Moss suggested he felt sorry for Tillman, who made a name for himself as a rookie last season when he took the ball directly out of Moss' hands in the end zone to preserve a Bears victory.

Upon reaching the field before the game, Moss went out of his way to speak to each member of the Bears secondary, telling them they had best be prepared for what was about to occur.

Instead, Moss was held to four catches for 31 yards, and Tillman knocked loose by deep in Minnesota territory for a fumble and turnover.

"He was cursing us," Tillman said about the pre-game "meeting." "Don't be saying that in our house. I took it personal. As a defense, we took it personal. We went out there and thought, 'We cannot lose this game.' For him to come here in our house, our stadium, our city, and talk down to us, that is not going to happen."

So, after shadowing Moss on the last play of the game (a quarterback sack), Tillman followed Moss as he walked off the field to the Vikings tunnel. Tillman and defensive secondary teammates Mike Green, Nathan Vasher and Todd McMillon stood in the end zone and waited, caught the eye of Moss and a couple of other players and waved goodbye.

At one point, Moss turned and took a step toward the Bears players. Then a Vikings team official pushed him into the tunnel just as Bears coach Lovie Smith arrived to pull Tillman toward the Bears locker room.

"I don't think it was a big deal," Smith said. "You normally shake hands with your opponent after the game. That's pretty much what it was."

"I couldn't hear what he was saying," Tillman said. "I wasn't going to fight the man. You have to keep it on the field."

Which is what Tillman did in the third quarter when he and Moss tangled on the Minnesota sideline.

"Daunte (Culpepper, Minnesota's quarterback), was scrambling outside and we (he and Moss) engaged," Tillman said. "I pushed (Moss) out of bounds, but he didn't stop. I just kept going. I didn't want him to throw me down like I was some punk or something like that. We just kept going after the whistle blew. After we fell, he was still trying to chock me and grab me and I was doing the same thing."

It's an indication of the kind of emotional team Smith wants to create that the Bears not only responded to the threat Moss posed, they reveled in the fact that they handled the threat.

"We were challenged before the game, called out by them, and we showed up and they guys fought until the last whistle," Smith said. "Moss started barking at them and they decided to bark back," defensive coordinator Ron Rivera said. "Sometimes if you are going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. That's what our guys did today, and they should be commended for that."


Bear Report Top Stories