INDIANAPOLIS -- After spending more than a week in Hawaii, Bears Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman appeared at a press conference for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Tillman is a finalist, along with Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens and Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers.
We'll find out if Tillman is the winner Saturday afternoon, at the inaugural NFL Honors show.
But here are some insights from Tillman from Indy:
* On appreciating the Chicago media for respecting his family's privacy: "I think when we were in the hospital, you don't want to see your daughter or television, or the newspaper. So my wife and I were just trying to deal with it in the moment. The Chicago media was very respectful and respecting our privacy. And I'm sure everybody knew about it, but you chose to respect it. For that, I'm forever grateful. Coming out full circle now, I'm glad to share my story. I'm a football player, and I have the same problems, like everyone else. I'm human. And I just wanted to share my story with other people. I love my kids. She got sick. And I'm trying to give back, because someone did something so [amazing]. I'm trying to give back, like a complete stranger did to me and my family."
* On if he'll continue the foundation after his playing career is over: "I definitely will continue this. It's true and dear to our heart, and we're doing some good things. Ever since we changed the mission of our foundation, I can't tell you all the opportunities our foundation has been given. We've been put on a bigger platform to help more families."
* On how big his foundation has become, given its humble roots: "It's big because I don't mind doing interviews for work and things like that. But myself, and Matt and Philip and previous winners of the award don't really boast about what you do. You're not looking for publicity to say, 'My foundation does x, y, z.' You do it, because you want to do it. I really try not to be that guy. In the grand scheme of things, you have to promote your foundation. It means we've been doing some good things. We've been working hard, and it shows that it pays off."
* On if his daughter Tiana gets all the attention: "She doesn't understand completely. But she kind of has an idea. She has another heart. she doesn't know what a Berlin heart is. She does know that she has someone else's heart in her. The yucky medicine, or the good medicine. But to her, it's normal, because it's all she has ever known."
* On the Bears GM change from Jerry Angelo to Phil Emery: "Y'all probably know more about Mr. Emery than I do. I don't know his bio. Hawaii. No TV. Kids in the pool. I was one of Jerry's kids. I was a guy that Jerry drafted. I got a contract through him. It's a business, it's a process. Just like one day, I might get cut. I'm sure he understands that."
* On when he can leave: "I don't want to say you lose, because I don't think anyone loses if you come this far. But if you don't get the big nice trophy, I think you're free to leave Saturday, after the NFL Honors show."
* On being a finalist for an award in honor of Payton: "I have yet to accomplish half the things that this man has done. To be mentioned in the same sentence as him? Practicing at the Payton Center. You get to see... Talking to Jarrett, and Brittany. To me, that's big enough, right there. I've won, in that case. I'm in the same sentence, I've won."
* On if the Pro Bowl should consider switching to flag football: "It was an experience. I definitely had a blast. And I'm definitely looking forward to going to more. It was a great experience. Every play should experience it at least once, with their families. The whole family was there. That was one of those Griswold, family vacations. It was special.
* On the intensity of the game: "Certain plays definitely looked bad. And we could have played a little bit harder then what we were playing. I'll admit, no one is going to go out there and play like it's a playoff game. But certain plays, we could have played harder."