By Dan Durkin-
(CBS) From their physical makeup to their collegiate resumes, Bears rookie defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton couldn’t be any more different.
Ferguson is a hulking physical specimen (6-foot-3, 309 pounds) who came out from LSU after his junior year despite having a resume that was light on both experience and productivity. Even so, the Bears saw enough raw potential in Ferguson to select him in the second round this past May.
Sutton, on the other hand, plays with a lower center of gravity (6-foot, 315 pounds) and had a sparkling collegiate resume. As a junior at Arizona State, Sutton dominated his competition, racking up 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for losses, prompting a legitimate decision about whether or not to enter the draft early. Sutton chose to stay for his senior year and saw his draft stock slide to the third round, where the Bears selected him 82nd overall.
As opposite as their paths leading to the NFL were, they’ve shared a strong bond both on and off the field since arriving in Chicago. The two consider themselves very fortunate to be teammates.
“We don’t have to go through it alone,” Sutton said. “It’s great to go through this with somebody you have a lot in common with. Ever since day one, we stepped in this building, I don’t know how to explain it, we’ve been boys ever since.”
Ferguson says the two have bonded over their shared craft, but have developed a friendship as well.
“That’s my road dog,” Ferguson said of Sutton. “We do a lot of stuff together on and off the field. We both strive to make each other better, we strive to be one of the best duos in the league after a while.”
Monday night was Ferguson’s 23rd birthday and his “road dog” helped him net his first career sack. Sutton had a nice interior pass rush that forced Jets quarterback Geno Smith to step up into the pocket and right into the waiting arms of Ferguson who dropped Smith for a 13-yard loss.
Despite the early success the rookies have enjoyed, Ferguson remains grounded and focused on improving.
“We just took that upon ourselves to work hard and keep pushing each other,” Ferguson said. “So to see all these people (Bears rookies) shining right now, to see all the success we’re having, we’re just not trying to let it get to our head. We’re trying to keep focusing and getting better.”
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.