Charles Tillman

Charles Tillman and Alshon Jeffrey do agility work with tennis balls at Halas Hall. (Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune / June 11, 2014)

Charles Tillman feels healthy, OK? Stop asking him about it because he's tired of the question.

The Bears cornerback made that clear Thursday night as pop music pulsed from speakers at Kings in Rosemont, where he hosted a bowling fundraiser for his Cornerstone Foundation. As Tillman fulfilled his media obligations, the issue pestered him like he has done to so many receivers over the last 11 seasons.

How's your health, Charles?

"I don't think I've got a cold or anything like that," he said with a straight face. "So I feel fine."

Later, another reporter asked, "The wing is all good?" in reference to his surgically repaired right triceps.

"That must be the question of the night, huh?" he responded.

Soon after that, an unsuspecting reporter lobbed Tillman a third question about his health.

"Why are y'all asking that … not-so-smart question?" he asked with vigor. "I'm good, man. I'm fine. People, I'm healthy. I'm OK."

And with that, Tillman penned the prologue for his 12th season with the Bears.

Here is a club fixture at 33 trying to outrun his NFL mortality for at least one more season.

"I just want to win a ring and call it a day," Tillman said. "I just want to get a championship ring."

So 2014 is shaping up to be, at once, a fresh start and maybe a culmination for the two-time Pro Bowl selection.

His 2013 season started promisingly enough. In Week 1, Tillman intercepted Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton on the defense's second play from scrimmage.

After that, however, right knee and groin injuries took their toll.

The Bears practiced a total of 20 times ahead of their next eight games. Tillman missed eight sessions and was limited in seven others because of his knee and groin. And he would have missed a ninth practice to nurse those maladies if he hadn't missed it for a family matter.

Tillman's knee problem ended up sidelining him for the Bears' Thursday night home win over the Giants in October.

But look at Tillman's production during that span, and it's easy to understand why he's so eager to brush aside the health questions. He wasn't a jalopy headed for the junkyard. He had three interceptions and three forced fumbles in the eight games he played before tearing his triceps on Nov. 10.

Overall, though, he missed eight games. He missed a total of six from 2005 to 2012.

The Bears digested all that data and allowed Tillman to test free agency in March. For the first time in Tillman's career, he had to contemplate wearing a jersey that isn't navy and orange.

He visited the Buccaneers and sensed he would play out his career there with coach Lovie Smith, for whom he played nine seasons with the Bears.