This year's Chicago Bears schedule will include multiple games against Calvin Johnson and the deep, talented Green Bay Packers receiving corps, plus games against Dez Bryant, Kenny Britt, Andre Johnson, Michael Crabtree, Sidney Rice and a December meeting against the Arizona Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald.
With all those big, physical receivers on the docket, the Bears' secondary could benefit with the offseason arrival of Brandon Marshall.
"I think it will help out a lot," Bears cornerback Charles Tillman told the Chicago Tribune of the acquisition of Marshall. "I think (Marshall) makes me better. He pushes me; he pushes our entire defense with his big style, big size ... his style of play, his physical-ness.
"So, yeah, he definitely pushes us and he makes our defense a lot better; he makes our defensive backfield a lot better."
The Bears are gradually moving away from Cover-2 concepts, with the 6-foot-1, 198-pound Tillman frequently matching up with the opponent's top receiver. According to the Football Outsiders Almanac 2012, the Bears' pass defense ranked seventh in the NFL last season and improved considerably against their opponents' top two receivers.
It might not be a coincidence that Tillman, who turned 31 in February, made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.