Charles Tillman is feeling like many of the Chicago Bears players, shocked that Lovie Smith is gone. Smith went 10-6 and players are shocked he would be fired, because you can't pick your wins or losses. Smith has the reputation as a mentor in life to his players, as much as in football, his players loved him.
Mike Ditka called Bears management ‘stupid’ for firing Smith, and though the Bears have only made the playoffs 3 out of 9 years, many felt Smith was a solid foundation that could be built upon.
Smith's downfall was he couldn’t establish a consistent offense, but with his players, he was a class act that deserved better. Charles Tillman is one of those players, hurt that the man he looked up to is no longer around.
Tillman spoke to WSCR in Chicago with Laurence Holmes about his feeling on Smith’s departure.
“First off I have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach Smith and I think he handled himself as a gentleman and he’s a class act. I’ve learned so much from Coach Smith. How to handle my business, what to say, how to say it, and he’s just a smart dude, smart brother who always handled himself the right way.
Those are some of the things that I will take from him in this business. It’s hard to be professional some times when media, fans and whoever aren’t really on your side and they’re just going against you. I can say I got a lot of game from Coach Smith. He taught me that. How it affected me, you know I was shocked like everybody else when he got fired.
I did my two cents of boohooing and crying and my heart bled for him because you went 10-6 and got fired but we know this business is crazy at times and I’m sure he knew at some point in time it had to come to an end. It’s unfortunate that it had to be now.”