Jennings, Tillman could combine to make franchise history

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Jennings, Tillman could combine to make franchise history

Not to be outdone, cornerback Charles Tillman was named NFC defensive player of the month for October, following running mate Tim Jennings receiving that honor for September.

The back-to-back distinctions could have Jennings and Tillman on course to both be in the Pro Bowl, which would mark the first time in history that two cornerbacks from the same Bears team were selected for the all-star game.

In Bears history seven players have won player-of-the-month awards. All but one defensive end Trace Armstrong in 1990 were voted to the Pro Bowl. Armstrong had the misfortune of winning his months award in a year when Reggie White, Chris Doleman and Richard Dent had Pro Bowl seasons. All three are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bears Pro Bowl CBs rare, period

The Bears have sent numerous safeties to Pro Bowls but rarely even one cornerback. Tillman did it last season for the first time, vastly improving his chances for a return on top of his month and season so far.

Nathan Vasher went after the 2005 season, one in which he led the NFC in interceptions with eight. Jennings leads the league with six through seven games.

(While not cornerbacks, safety Roosevelt Taylor led the NFL with nine interceptions in 1963 and went to the Pro Bowl, as did safety Mark Carrier in 1990 to earn a trip across the water.)

Donnell Woollford went after his 1993 season. And thats about it.

Vs. the best

Tillman sealed his award with the job done on Detroits Calvin Johnson in a Monday night game, national TV against one of the elite receivers in the NFL.

Jennings added luster to his September award by doing major work on Carolinas Steve Smith, including a turning-moment interception for a touchdown in the Bears win.

I grade myself pretty well just because Steve Smith is an All-Pro receiver and I felt like I made a couple plays on him, Jennings said. For him to be the type of receiver he is, I just want to put myself in position to make some plays and I think I was.

That sort of thing impresses Pro Bowl voters, too.

Competition

From last years Pro Bowl cornerbacks, Green Bays Charles Woodson broke a collarbone and is out, besides having played safety this season also.

Carlos Rodgers will benefit from playing on a very good San Francisco 49ers defense, and Patrick Peterson has three interceptions as well as a growing rep, which gets votes.

Brandon Browner from Seattle was an alternate and the Seahawks are a top-five yardage and scoring defense.

Others will get votes. Indeed, if voters are not inclined to pick two DBs from the same secondary, Jennings and Tillman could cancel out votes from each other.

Pro Bowl voting is open now on NFL.com.

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