Bears rookie Kyle Fuller steps up as Charles Tillman steps aside

Kyle Fuller, Mike Iupati

Quarterback Jay Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall were cast as the heroes in Chicago’s wild 28-20 comeback win over San Francisco in Week 2, as they hooked up for two of their three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

But the Bears wouldn’t have been in position to steal that game from the 49ers if not for rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller, whose two interceptions in the fourth set up a pair of Chicago’s touchdowns. From the Chicago Tribune:

Fuller’s second career pick came only 4 minutes after the first, a result of his vision and feel. On that play, he felt secure enough to drop off his primary coverage responsibility on Crabtree in order to cut off a Colin Kaepernick pass deeper down the field toward tight end Derek Carrier.

“Just in the right place at the right time,” Fuller said.

In a blink, two takeaways led to two crucial Bears touchdowns with both requiring a combination of poise and aggressiveness. From a rookie.

Fuller earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week accolades for his performance. The first-round draft pick’s timing was also perfect because he had his breakout game just as the Bears are learning that their top defensive back, 33-year-old veteran Pro Bowler Charles Tillman, will be out for the season with a triceps injury. Sherrick McManis also left Sunday’s game with a quad injury, leaving Fuller and Tim Jennings as the only healthy corners on the Bears’ roster.

Fuller seems ready to take on a starting job.

“He has no fear,” Marshall told the Tribune. “There’s no wide receiver and there’s no moment that’s bigger than him. He has a great skill set. But better yet, his attitude is amazing.

“I told him it’s not about starting, it’s not about making the Pro Bowl,” Marshall added. “He needs to have Hall of Fame on his brain. Because that kid can play.”

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