Chicago Bears Cornerback Charles Tillman “Just Another Game”

On how the GB offense has changed over the course of the season
“I think one of the biggest things that has changed with this offense is Aaron Rodgers. He’s making those throws. I know a couple times with us he missed a couple, but these last two playoff games he’s been connecting with all of his receivers, not just (Greg) Jennings but everybody.”

On how he would rate Packers receiving corps compared to others
“I would say this receiving corps is the best in the NFL.”

On what makes them so great
“Their ability to get a lot of yards after catch. They run hard. They make the difficult catch. They block well down the field.”

On what the defensive strategy has to be against the Packers
“I think right now the best thing we can do is out-execute their defense. I think that’s what this game will come down to, just who executes better, us or them.”

On who stands out on defense
“I think our solid defense is just, well first off, I think the star of our defense is our defense and the way we play and the playmakers we have. I think one of our edges is that we all run to the ball, so when someone does make a mistake you have 10 other guys running to the ball to back up that guy.”

On what makes Packers Greg Jennings such a successful wide receiver
“Quickness off the ball, blocking ability. He makes the difficult catch at the right time. He is their playmaker, one of their money-makers.”

On Tim Jennings fitting into the defense
“I’m not surprised that he’s worked his way in. He’s a hell of a player. If you look at him, he’s a smaller guy. He’s one of our smaller defensive players, but at the same time he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and make that tackle on a big back. I think that’s one of his strengths, his ability to make the play and tackling.”

On the condition of the field
“I think our field is a little bit harder in January and February, or December and January, around that time frame. It is what it is. Some people say it’s a sorry field, but say what they want. At the end of the day you have to play. That’s what we do. We accept it, and we just play.”

On whether it affects how guys cut and run
“No, sometimes I’ve fallen on our field. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve fallen sometimes. Sometimes I have the good break when I can plant. It is what it is.”

On whether the offense or defense is at a bigger disadvantage on that type of playing surface
“No, I think everyone is at an equal advantage on that field – offense or defense and special teams included.”

On how much credit he gives to Head Coach Lovie Smith for team’s success
“I give him a huge amount of credit. I don’t think anyone gave us a chance but the people in this building. We believe in ourselves. He believed in us more than anybody, and he told us that all season long. All through the offseason and all season long, he said, ‘Our mission is to win a world championship.’ We’re so close to obtaining that goal, so I owe a lot of credit to him for that.”

On whether he anticipated playing the Packers in this game when the two teams met at the end of the regular season
“No, a couple weeks ago I was just trying to get a W. I wasn’t worried about who we were facing or who we might play in the playoffs.”

On the nature of this rivalry
“I think it’s kind of cool. I definitely think the media hypes it up to be more than it really is. Me personally, I try to look at it as just another game, another rivalry game. For me, that’s just the best way it will help me, just another game.”

On whether there is a Packer he really dislikes personally
“No, I love everybody.”

On the importance of takeaways
“I think takeaways are huge. They come at a premium in the playoffs. Obviously one of their corners Tramon Williams has been playing extremely well in the playoffs. That’s one of the things we lacked in that first game against Seattle last week. We didn’t have any takeaways. Typically the team with the most (takeaways) typically is the team that wins, so we’ll have our hands full. Green Bay has done a good job of not allowing them to turn the ball over offensively, so I credit their offense to doing a hell of a job of holding on to the ball.”

On whether he has a bigger appreciation for this situation after going through it in 2006
“Yeah, I would say I feel like I’m guilty of that. I would say then I was ready to go a Super Bowl and now I’m looking at it a second time around and I don’t want to just go to one; I want to win one. I think the attitude around here has changed from that standpoint.”

On how he perfected the ball-punch technique
“The strip is just something that came natural. I don’t just sit and practice it. It’s one of those things. Coach Smith emphasizes stripping the ball and punching the ball. Coach Marinelli always says, “You can’t steal second with your foot on first,” so one of the things we try to do in practice is if anyone has a ball you try to punch it out. That’s just one of the things we do around here.”

On what S Chris Harris brought to the defense
“Leadership. His ability to be a playmaker but not only that, but a vocal leader as well. He’s been a tremendous help to, I think, Major Wright, showing him some tips and things like that. But to have a guy back like that – he was here in ‘06 when we went to the Super Bowl – it was like he just fit right in. It was like he never left.”

On what the demand has been on him from family and friends for tickets
“The demand has been not a demand at all. My phone hasn’t blown up or anything like that. I haven’t received any new phone calls from any new friends, so I’m good from that standpoint.”

On whether he has a sense of what is going on around the town and how important the team is
“No, because I haven’t been in bars and restaurants and things like that. I’ve just been at home with my kids just trying to do the daddy thing. But I’m sure it’s big. They said when I first got here that this was a Bears town, so I’m sure everyone is extremely excited about this game. I’ve heard it’s a Super Bowl within a Super Bowl and all the media and the hype. I think all of that is great, but I don’t think you can get caught up in that. I try to stay out of that and just approach it as another game.”

On whether the 2006 Super Bowl appearance makes this easier for the team
“I think for some players, but for a lot of guys, this is their first time in the playoffs, their first NFC Championship. I would say for the veterans, yeah, we’ve been here before. We know how to act. It’s not a big deal; just treat it as a regular game and we’ll be all right.”

On what the key is to beating Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
“I would say our defensive line. I definitely think our d-line. They have to get pressure on Aaron, but at the same time with them getting pressure, us as DBs, we have to cover. It’s a marriage that goes hand-in-hand. As much as they depend on us, we depend on them.”

On whether veterans talk about the window of opportunity getting smaller
“Yeah, this is an opportunity that you want to capitalize on. I definitely want to seize the moment. When we went in ’06, the assumption was, “Well just go back next year.” Dan Marino made the same assumption, I think, during his rookie year. He said, “Oh, we made it there. We’ll go back again,” and he never made it back. So definitely you want to seize the moment when it’s presented to you.”

On why the pass coverage tightened up since the Jets game
“Scheme-wise we’ve done the same thing. I think from a secondary standpoint, we’ve just tried to execute more in our coverages, being guys hit pockets, being quicker on our breaks, making sure we’re breaking on the ball when the quarterback is throwing it, little things like that.”