Tillman Own Harshest Critic

Lake Forest - The Bears' best cover corner, Charles Tillman, was beaten for two touchdowns, one by Chad Johnson and one by rookie third-round pick Chris Henry. While Johnson also victimized Nathan Vasher, Tillman became the target for criticism as the Lions' Roy Williams also beat him for a 31-yard touchdown in Week Two.

"Most definitely a reason to be concerned," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Charles is a good football player. He hasn't played his best game ... I should say he's had a couple bad plays the last couple of games for us, but we don't think it's any more than that. We have two weeks to analyze exactly what he's doing and what he's doing wrong on those plays and get it from there."

Tillman took it a step further when he summed up his effort against the Bengals with one sentence.

"I would say probably Sunday was probably the worst game I've had career-wise, since being in the league," Tillman said.

The performance may serve as a wakeup call for the third-year cornerback, who hasn't had an interception since his rookie season. He spent several minutes after Thursday's practice working with WR Justin Gage.

"You can't lay your head down, you can't sit around and mope. It's just that you have to bounce back," Tillman said. "I lost the game but I didn't lose the lesson."

Numbers can be Deceiving
Yardage-wise, the Bears did an outstanding job against the Bengals, allowing just 244 total yards, one week after permitting just 234 against the Lions. The NFL average last season was 327. And, in the past two weeks, the Bears have held their opponents to 112 rushing yards on 52 carries, barely 2 yards per carry in a league where the average is 4.1.

But the defense still was stung for TD passes of 18 and 40 yards to Johnson and 36 to Henry last week, and it took the ball away just once.

"Coach Lovie has really put us in good position for the run," said DT Tommie Harris. "Also a lot of pass plays we're not making plays that we're supposed to be making. That just comes with time. We're preparing and going back and fixing those mistakes and hopefully we get better."

Limited Engagement
CB Jerry Azumah may be under the impression that he'll get his starting job back now that he's 100 percent recovered from arthroscopic hip surgery on Aug. 3, but it doesn't appear he's going to replace Nathan Vasher anytime soon.

"Our players will stay in the same role, yes," Smith said when asked about Azumah moving up from his nickel spot and into the starting lineup. "Charles and Nate will be the corners, and Jerry will be in the nickel role along with our kick returner and that's how we'll (proceed)."

Roster Move
The Bears waived defensive back Rod Babers from the practice squad. He was originally signed to the practice squad on Sept. 4. The team currently has an opening on the eight-man unit.


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