A standout defender and two-time Pro Bowl honoree who patrolled the secondary in the National Football League for 13 seasons, Charles “Peanut” Tillman transitions to a new form of coverage in 2016, joining FOX Sports’ on-air lineup as an analyst for the Sunday morning pregame show, FOX NFL KICKOFF. Tillman joins host Charissa Thompson, and analysts Colin Cowherd and Dave Wannstedt, for the one-hour program airing every Sunday during the season from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM ET on the FOX broadcast network. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports Senior Vice President of Production, Bill Richards.
“With Charles having spent his entire career in the NFC, we were obviously very familiar with his accomplishments on the field,” Richards said. “He always presented himself well as a player and we were impressed with his knowledge of the game and ability to articulate it when we met with him. We are really excited to add him to the team.”
“I am really looking forward to getting right back into the swing of things with FOX Sports,” Tillman said. “My family and I are very excited about this next chapter in my life.”
Originally selected by the Chicago Bears in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft, Tillman (@peanuttillman) recently announced his retirement after playing his final season in 2015 as a member of the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. Prior to last season, he spent 12 years as one of the leaders and faces of the Bears’ organization, appearing in 156 games (152 starts) at cornerback and finishing as the franchise’s all-time leader in passes defensed (133), forced fumbles (42) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (8). His 36 career interceptions in Chicago rank third all-time in team annals and he is one of only two players (Brian Dawkins) in NFL history to have recorded at least 35 interceptions and 35 forced fumbles.
Having mastered his patented “Peanut Punch,” Tillman’s knack for forcing fumbles was bulleted throughout offensive meeting rooms across the league and his 44 career forced fumbles rank sixth all-time in NFL history and No. 1 among defensive backs. He enjoyed his finest season in 2012, when he started all 16 games, posting three interceptions (all three returned for touchdowns) and a career-high and NFL-leading 10 forced fumbles, the single-season NFL record for a defensive back. For his efforts, Tillman was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl and received prestigious first-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press.
Held in high regard throughout his career for several different charitable endeavors off of the playing field, including his Cornerstone Foundation and Charles’ Locker, Tillman was named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2013, an award that recognizes one player in the league for community service off the field, as well as on-field excellence.