Cornerback Charles Tillman tells RedEye you need a rug at training camp.… (Phil Velasquez/Tribune )
Charles Tillman says he sucks at video games. Fortunately for him, excelling at virtual combat is not a prerequisite for surviving Bears training camp, which opens Wednesday at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.
RedEye spoke with the All-Pro cornerback about what he needs at camp, what rookies should do and whom he'd avoid as a roommate.
What are some items you need to pack for camp that rookies may not know to bring?
Umm, a rug. There's no carpet in the room. So you gotta have a rug.
Did you learn with experience that you need to bring a rug?
Yeah, I did. I think I ended up running to the local Wal-Mart my first camp and buying a rug. The floors are like tile and ice cold. Your AC is on all the time so you got to have a rug. Got to.
A rug won't solve everything, what other packing tips would you have for rookies?
Aluminum foil for you windows. Depending what side of the building you're on — I'm on the east side of the building, I think — so that sun comes up so early and you're just like, "Oh my gosh." It blasts right in your face. So I put aluminum foil over my windows.
Outside stuff for the room — like a rug, aluminum foil or a fan or something — what are other crafty veteran must-pack items?
You have to bring a gaming system so you don't go insane of football all day. At least bring a book or something. You need that release. Something.
What's your video game of choice then?
Uh, right now, I'm a "Call of Duty" guy. I'm not that good at it but I like playing it. I suck at it but I love it. I'll be playing the game and have little kids curse me out all the time online.
Is there a best Call of Duty player on the team? Like someone if you brought him in your room to play, you'd know you'd just get dominated?
Everyone says they're the best. So I can't even tell you. Everyone lies and is like, "Oh man, I'm the best."
Some people may say they're the best, but is there someone that everyone secretly knows is the best?
I don't know. Everyone plays the FIFA soccer game, so everyone claims they're the best. Someone will say, "I beat you, man." And someone always says, "Man, I let you win." It goes back and forth and back and forth. It's hilarious.
Is there a game you think you could beat most people in?
Um, hmm, no. I don't think I could take anybody in any video game. I'm not that good, but I enjoy playing. I guess I don't have that much time to play because I got four kids. But when I do play I love it. But I suck. I suck bad. I die all the time.
Do you have roommates during camp?
No, no roommates.
If you had to pick someone, who would be your favorite roommate? And whom you would not want to room with?
Well it definitely wouldn't be a lineman. I guess I'd probably say Lance [Briggs]. A roommate I didn't want to have? I probably say J'Marcus Webb. He'd take up a lot of space. Maybe Roberto Garza. Really any lineman.
Is there any aspect of training camp you really can't stand?
I think everyone dreads training camp because you're away from your home, you're not in your bed, you're away from your family. It's hot, you're there for like a month. The practices are long. It's the same stuff every day.
What would your survival tip for a rookie be?
Shut up and do what you're told.
What's the worst thing they have to eat there?
Ah, the food is good for like the first two days. But after the first two days everything tastes the same. It's like all right, I'm tired of eating chicken, steak, a salad. It's just the same thing every day. After three days, it's like all right, I'm done.
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