Azumah Called Tillman's Shot

DETROIT - Bears cornerback Jerry Azumah proved a prophet. Bears defensive backs Charles "Peanut'' Tillman and Azumah were getting taped by trainers together Sunday prior to the game with the Detroit Lions when Tillman was told it would be his day.

"I've got to give a compliment or a shot out to Jerry Azumah because about an hour before kickoff we were in the training room getting taped and he says, "how many defensive touchdowns have you got?' And I said, "I haven't got none.'

"He was like, ‘we need to get you one.' He pretty much called it out for me.''

Charles Tillman stepped in on a Jeff Garcia pass for his third interception of the year and seventh of his career, then returned it for his first career touchdown in a 19-13 Bears overtime win.

"Actually it's not about me on that particular play,'' Tillman said. "Alfonso Boone did a great job, our tackle. Garcia was going outside. Boone pulled him up (with his pass rush), so Garcia had to come back inside. So it just kind of floated. He was kind of off-balance.''

The Bears had a zone blitz on during the play and the pass was intended for Mike Williams. As the ball floated to Tillman, he said it seemed like a long time.

"My eyes didn't get big until I actually caught it and I knew was about to score,'' he said. "Once I was in the end zone I was like yelling, "I did it. I did it.' ''

Tillman has suffered through a roller coaster year that included a stretch of four touchdown passes allowed in three games.

"I don't feel like I ever really lost my swagger,'' Tillman said." My confidence wasn't down. My teammates, they had confidence in me.

"I had (one) bad game. Now that I'm playing good, I don't just feel like that meant redemption, like "Peanut's' back or anything. I don't think I was ever gone.''

Coach Lovie Smith recognized what an up and down year Tillman has been through, though.

"Charles has been through a lot this year, to have a tough spell there early in the season, to come back after that,'' he said.

"Good football players eventually play that way. That's just a huge play.''

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