For the Bears Cover 2 scheme to be effective, defensive lineman need to pressure the quarterback consistently. If the lineman can get pressure, in theory, the quarterback will make bad decisions as defenders sit back in coverage with their eyes on the quarterback. Because of the importance the guys upfront, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith value defensive lineman at a premium. Often times, the play for the defensive secondary is overlooked because of an effective pass rush.
When looking to sign or draft a defensive back, the front office will look for someone that can be coached to play within the system. The Bears Cover 2 doesn't need a cover corner that has to play man-to-man, instead they need players that can sit in their zones.
While Angelo takes a lot of heat for "not doing enough" by drafting the wrong players or signing the wrong free agents, one of his successes has been drafting Charles "Peanut" Tillman.
Tillman has been one of the most consistent defensive players the Bears have had over last decade. He's a big, physical cornerback, that can cover bigger targets, good in coverage and is the best in the league at the ball punch. He's having another solid season that many consider to be his best but the fact is, Tillman has always played this well. In fact, this may not be his best season.
This season, he's on pace to record a career high in tackles. While he is a sound tackler, cornerbacks aren't necessarily judged by the number of tackles they have. Usually a high tackle number indicates the defense is on the field too long and they're getting thrown on. Cornerbacks are judged by the number of interceptions they have.
In Tillman's case, he is not even close to eclipsing his career high of five which he accomplished in 2005, 2006 and last season. His career high doesn't even rank in the top of the leader board in any given season.
The reason why he hasn't made a Pro Bowl (yet) is because he's not in too many highlights. Because of this, he suffers from a lack of name recognition compared to a Darrelle Revis, DeAngelo Hall, Nnamdi Asomougha. All three play in defensive systems that require their cornerbacks to play man-to-man.
Just because Tillman is not required to play man-to-man in most snaps, doesn't mean he can't and it doesn't mean that he's not good at it either. When the Bears do play man-to-man during the course of a game, Tillman shadows the other team's best receiver and he usually does his job in limiting the big play.
The Bears have already played in 5 national/multi-regional games with a couple more left to go. With the exposure, this is Tillman's best chance to make the Pro Bowl, so let's vote him in.