Bears CB Tillman reclaims starting spot

Updated: May 21, 2010, 1:57 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It took until the end of Friday's first minicamp practice for veteran cornerback Charles Tillman to reclaim his starting spot with the Chicago Bears.

Absent from voluntary offseason workouts until this past Monday, Tillman spent most of the morning with the second team while Tim Jennings took reps with the starters opposite Zack Bowman. But during 11-on-11 drills at the session's conclusion, Tillman returned to the first unit.

Tillman kept his sense of humor regarding the minor demotion.

"See that man over there, Lovie Smith, that was his doing, his say-so, you have to talk to the big guy," Tillman said.

Smith, per his usual custom, declined to specially address any offseason personnel or depth chart issues.

"There's no second or first team right now," Smith said. "There's a starting rotation you have based on who's been here the most right now.

"When some of the players haven't been here the entire time, you don't know exactly what type of condition they're in. You have to get them out here and see. Charles Tillman is one of our guys. Every day I've been here that's been the case, and it won't change."

According to Tillman, conditioning isn't a big issue, despite the veteran opting to skip workouts leading up to this week.

"I'm still working hard, working out," Tillman said. "I think my body is conditioned like everybody else's."

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE NFL HEADLINES