There is a lot of scary aspects to the Charles Tillman injury. He’s injured once again, undergoing surgery once again and will likely miss most if not all of training camp.
However there is always a silver lining to every cloud and although Tillman will miss all of Chicago Bears traing camp 2009, other players will benefit in his absence.
Those players are developing a lot of versatility and they are showing that they are capable of being good CBs in the first place. Players such as Zach Bowman, Corey Graham and rookie D.J. Moore will get more practice reps and pre-season game plays in Tillman’s absence. While it is invaluable to have a veteran out there, the fact that Tillman is a veteran means he can help to coach the young players.
With Nathan Vasher’s large contract and his seeming inability to get back into playing form that earned him that contract developing starting level depth behind Tillman is essential.
With Jay Cutler set to a contract extension in the next one to two years the Bears will likely have to clear some cap room to help work out what could be one of the largest contracts in league history. Vasher’s contract may be on the chopping block if the young players behind him show they are up to the task.
They can prove they are up to the task with Tillman no longer in the line up. D.J. Moore has been described as a first round NFL draft talent. Likely the steal of the draft according to some sources.
Also Tillman missed a significant amount of training camp in 2008 while his daughter recovered from heart surgery. Because of that fact alone we know Tillman doesn’t need the amount of practice time in training camp that a lot of the younger players need. He knows his job, he knows the defense, he just needs to focus on getting healthy and then working on his rehab. Beyond that he should be focused on the season, in which he will help to anchor what could turn out to be a stronger secondary that most everyone expected.
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