Charles Tillman: Calvin Johnson is the best receiver in the NFL


Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan got egg on his face after saying last week that his players practice against better receivers than Calvin Johnson, only to watch on Sunday as Johnson scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns against his defense. This week Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is hoping to avoid any similar missteps.

Tillman, who will cover Johnson on Monday night, heaped praise on Megatron when talking to reporters.

“He’s probably the top receiver in the league right now, as far as just throwing the ball up and letting him get it,” Tillman said. “He’s the Goliath of receivers. We as a secondary will definitely have our hands full trying to contain him.”

The Goliath of receivers has been using his 6-foot-5 frame effectively, particularly against the 5-foot-10 Terence Newman on Sunday’s game-winning grab. At 6-foot-2, Tillman is one of the NFL’s taller cornerbacks. We’ll see on Monday whether he can avoid becoming Johnson’s next victim.

78 responses to “Charles Tillman: Calvin Johnson is the best receiver in the NFL

  1. My nice guy attitude tends me to think that at 6 foot 2, Tillman has a better shot than Newman did at covering CJ…but my status as a Lions fan tells me that it won’t matter much :P. Calvin is just too much, right now, he is uncoverable

  2. Johnson is a beast, Tillman has the tools to do it though. I still remember that play during Peanut’s rookie year when he ripped that ball from Randy Moss’ hands.

  3. not callin him randy moss yet. but he is closest to it right now. jus throw it up hell get it. it funny how cris carter backtracked on his words

  4. Typical profootballtalk article. Tillman said:He’s probably the top receiver in the league right now, as far as just throwing the ball up and letting him get it,”
    He never said outright that Calvin Johnson is the best wr in the NFL.
    This is why half of articles suck…They are all embellished

  5. No, he won’t “avoid becoming Johnson’s next victim.”

    Megatron has no equal. He laughs at your triple coverage. Tillman is and always has been overrated.

    I look forward to MNF, and I’ll be cheering hard for Megatron and Detroit as I want the Lions to be undefeated heading into Thanksgiving against my Packers. That will be a game to remember.

  6. I love Tillman!! He’s amazing. Calvin Johnson has been incredible though. Hoping my bears win!

  7. Tillman used to do a really good job on Randy Moss when he was with the Vikings but Johnson is dominating right now.

    Tillman will need some help on Monday night.

  8. Tillman has been overrated? How’s that? He’s actually been underrated for what he’s been doing. There seems to be the perception that he’s always in zone, which simply isn’t the case anymore. He’s lost a step with age, but he still mans up fairly well on an island and is a physical corner with good instincts.

    This isn’t to say he’ll contain Calvin. He actually has done fairly well against Calvin for most of his career, but Calvin’s playing at another level right now, entering his prime years, and Charles is, at best, at the end of his prime, and probably on the downslope a bit (at CB at least, I think he’ll be like Rod Woodson and be moved to safety to extend his career at some point).

    That said, the Lions aren’t dumb. The Bears largely have their corners play sides. Thus, I’d look for the Lions to try and get Calvin matched up against the Bears other CB’s as much as possible, particularly Tim Jennings. The bigger issue for the Bears is that their safeties have been banged up, and as such, fairly inconsistent. Jennings, and to a lesser extent, Tillman, will need over the top help.

    For the Bears to win this game, first, the defensive line has to dominate, and that is a matchup that will be interesting to watch, as the Lions OL is still their biggest concern.

  9. HUH!!

    Wes Welker…..40 catches…..616 yards…..5 TD’s
    Ave. per catch-15.4…..Yards per game-154

    C. Johnson…..24 catches…..324 yards…..8 TD’s
    Ave. per catch-13.4…..Yards per game-80

    You do the math.

  10. Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald disagree.

    That said, Megatron is a beast and I look forward to seeing Peanut battle with him (hopefully with help from Merriweather over the top).

  11. Lovie’s cover zero defensive scheme will probably get Johnson 300 yards between the 20’s. Red zone could be just as ugly as long as Stafford is in the game. Bears only hopes are Forte, Hester and turnovers.

  12. Tillman is very underrated at his position. He’s not a shut down corner not even a Woodson corner, but I have never seen a DB cause as many fumbles as he has. Pretty tough assignment though with Calvin. HEAS A BEAST !!

  13. I think I speak for most Bear fans when I say if/when the Bears are elimintaed from playoff contention the Lions will have couple million temporary fans hoping the win the division.

  14. What’s he going to say, the guy sucks? C’mon man. He’s got to go up against the guy on Monday night. Tillman is gonna need all the help he can get. The Bears secondary is going to have their hands full for sure.

  15. Da Bears fan will be saying after da game da da da da megatron da da da megatron da da………

  16. This changes week to week. The league is full of great receivers with about 4-5 who can be considered ‘the best’.

    Calvin will get hurt at some point this year while some other stud lights it up and the media and fans will be in an uproar about how great whoever that guy is.

  17. A cb could be just as tall as Johnson, it doesn’t mean they will be able to jump as high, run as fast, or be as strong as Johnson.

  18. As a Lions fan, Charles Tillman has earned my respect over the years. He’s the type of guy (like Al Harris in his prime, who was also a tall CB) that you’d like to have on your team, rather than face twice a year.

  19. The Bears other starting cornerback, Tim Jennings, is only like 5’8″. As a Chicago fan, I really hope the Lions don’t flip flop Megatron around much, because that will be taking candy from a baby.

  20. Tillman is right, Johnson has been the best WR so far in the NFL this season, followed closely by Welker.

    Peanut won’t be able to shut Megatron down, but unless he gets a case of the falls on his face (which he does on occasion) he should be able to limit him to modest gains after the catch.

    I’m more worried about what happens in the Cover Two scheme when Tillman releases Johnson to one of the safeties, who have blown coverage on a couple big plays so far this season.

    And in the red zone, of course. It’s hard to defend against a guy who can just stand there and easily out jump you for the ball.

  21. The issue in covering Megatron, is that even if you only let him free once or twice, the scoreboard tends to bite you for it.

  22. Someone had a pretty good suggestion in a letter to Peter King in the MMQB Tuesday Edition. Why not stick a tall receiver on CJ in goal line situations? He’s basically the Lions’ “goal line back” and he’s able to out-jump 2 or 3 defenders in those situations. For example, Tillman could get decent positioning on CJ but couldn’t out jump him, so why not put in Kellen Davis or even Roy Williams in there as another defender, to have a better chance of at least getting a hand on the ball and deflecting it before CJ grabs it? This would be situational of course… Roy Williams could never cover CJ on a route, but if it’s obvious the Lions are just going to throw it to the corner of the end zone and have CJ out-reach everyone, it would be worth a try.

  23. So every week we get an article on PFT that the opposing team gives praise to Calvin?

    Can we skip to the end where we all agree that Calvin is really damn good? Please and Thank you.

  24. Sounds like Charles Tillman is trying to create a “win-win” scenario for himself. If Calvin burns him … what do you expect, Calvin after all is the best receiver in the NFL. And if he happens to shut Calvin down … well then, Charles Tillman must be a stud cornerback and he can pat himself on the back.

  25. Don’t give the Lions anything to use as motivation against you. Megatron has earned respect, it’s good to see Tillman give it to the man.

    Should be a hell of a game. I know the Lions haven’t beaten the Bears in a few years, but even the year the Lions went 0-16, both games were hard fought slogs. The Lions fight hard. They have earned this Bears fan’s respect.

    Go Bears!

  26. He isnt even the best Johnson in the league. Andre Johnson has been the best for a long time, Calvin’s 4 few epic performances arent a large enough sample size to say he is the best….yet.

  27. massappeal12345 says: Oct 5, 2011 3:28 PM


    Wes Welker…..40 catches…..616 yards…..5 TD’s
    Ave. per catch-15.4…..Yards per game-154

    C. Johnson…..24 catches…..324 yards…..8 TD’s
    Ave. per catch-13.4…..Yards per game-80

    You do the math.
    Welker 5 x 6 = 30
    Johnson 8 x 6 = 48

    Looks like Johnson scored more points than Welker. What’s your point?
    PS you only get points for yardage in FANTASY. This is the real NFL.

  28. He did well against aquieb taleb (sp?) Loll I probably butured spelling that name. Not sure but I think he might be the tallest (good) cb in the NFL. Tillman is a good cb but no matter what he makes ALL defensive backs look like little boys compared to him.

    GO LIONS!!

  29. Welker? WELKER? Are you kidding me with this? This is why I hate fantasy football sometimes.

    Welker runs great routes and is consistently good, but he can’t go up and get the ball in triple coverage. What CJ is doing–what he has done throughout his career–is just re-damh-diculous.

    Find me someone west of the Hudson River that would take Welker over Calvin Johnson, and I’ll show you a damn fool.

    Not a Lions fan.

  30. massappeal12345 says:Oct 5, 2011 3:28 PM


    Wes Welker…..40 catches…..616 yards…..5 TD’s
    Ave. per catch-15.4…..Yards per game-154

    C. Johnson…..24 catches…..324 yards…..8 TD’s
    Ave. per catch-13.4…..Yards per game-80

    You do the math.

    6 up, 23 down so far. Apparently, 23 don’t like facts very much.

    The only category he leads in is TD’s, and most of that is because Brady has more targets to spread it out to: Welker 5, Gronkowski 5, Hernandez 2 (through 2 games).

    Megatron is bigger, but Welker is actually harder to contain so far.

  31. P.S. don’t get me wrong, he is outstanding, but being THE new buzzword name among receivers, does not automatically make you the best.

  32. The jump ball in the end zone will be like the fifth grader holding the ball over his head on the playground while the third graders all jump and flail at it.

  33. comeonnowguys says:Oct 5, 2011 5:53 PM


    Look up the third type of lie. Seriously.

    Look up reality. The numbers do not “lie”.

  34. Charles Tillman is one of the best at forcing fumbles…doesn’t help when the guy with the ball is already in the end zone.

    What Charles Tillman needs to be one of the best at, is playing corner. Unfortunately, he’s not.

    Take care,


  35. Couldn’t agree more..and the fact that he’s snail slow for a corner doesn’t help either.

  36. Tillman and the Bears have actually shut down Johnson in just about every meeting.

    In 7 games against the Bears Johnson has 33 receptions, 484 yards and 3 TDs.

    That only comes out to 4.7 receptions, 69 yards and 0.42 TDs a game against the Bears defense.
    133 of those yards came in one game in 2009.

    They have probably done a better job against him than any other team so far.
    We will find out if that continues Monday night.

  37. Tillman has done things most CB cant. Will he shut down Megatron? NO. but the Bears have no awnser for Nate B, Tony S, Brandon P, and a big surprise in Titus Young. Not to mention Best taking passes out of the backfield. I just see way to much fire power. The Lions have the best overall offensive guns in the league as a whole. Oh, and lets not forget the SUHperb defence. Sorry Bear fans you will not win this one on a BS call in the endzone. (last years phantom incomplete pass for a game winning TD). Lions go 5-0

  38. @nesuperfan

    Look up reality. The numbers do not “lie”.

    Since you need it spelled out for you:

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    P.S. Peyton is better than Brady.

    My work here is done.

  39. m2karateman says:
    Oct 5, 2011 3:17 PM
    Tillman has always been a class act, and usually plays Calvin pretty well.

    And yes, I am a Lions fan.

    x2 on that statement, would love to have tillman here.

  40. Well can we start using FIRST, it makes people who use FRIST look like their twelve..maybe you are..whatever,I’m done.

  41. I posted under a poster that was in a hurry to get the coveted ‘first’ once at Mlive. It was under an article by Killer Kowalski. Thing is, when Tom posted an article, tons of people noticed. Killer always seemed to provoke reactions and intelligent conversation, and being the first to post became something of a challenging game for many. In short, the poster after the ‘first’ instead posted ‘frist’ because he was in such a hurry. I knew the spelling police would be after him, and I could see why he did it. I waited for the next article, and followed that with a ‘frist’ of my own. It did catch on, slowly, and spelling police everywhere don’t like it too much. It was really because of Killer and that poster at Mlive that the tradition was born.

    Now, for the latest from around the internet, and more…

  42. The Bears are trending down and the Lions are trending up. This is the Lions year and it will take more than the worst call in sports history to save Da Bears this year.

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