BR Rookie Diary: Ego Ferguson

Bear Report sits down with Chicago Bears second-round defensive tackle Ego Ferguson, who talks about his transition to the NFL, the recent OTAs, upcoming training camp and more.

The Chicago Bears were looking for a run-stopping defensive tackle in this year's draft. The team believes they found such a player in second rounder Ego Ferguson.

Ferguson has been working as the primary backup nose tackle behind Stephen Paea throughout organized team activities (OTAs). He's shown a lot of natural strength but even he admits he has a long way to go.

We sat down with Ferguson to discuss his transition to the NFL.

"Competing is really fun. That's why I'm here and that is why I am enjoying the process so much. I always felt that I could make it into the NFL. Draft weekend was tense to some extent but I always had confidence that somebody would be calling me.

"I felt that the Bears were happy with what I could do, so when I got their call I wasn't completely surprised. This is an excellent team with a long history of being a top-of-the-NFL-type defense. It's an honor to have the opportunity to develop my skills here by learning from these coaches and veteran players."

Has this transition from college to the NFL been difficult for you?

"No, it hasn't been that hard, at least so far. I come from the football program at LSU. It's very high powered and intense. I think the only difference between our practices in college and what I've experienced with the Bears is that the speed in the NFL is somewhat faster. That should take some getting used to but I'm sure I'll figure it out sooner rather than later.

"I've played football for a long time, since I was a little kid. My family was always very supportive of my dream to play in the NFL. One of the most difficult decisions I made was in high school when I left home for Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. That was around 250 miles from my home in Florida. My parents were behind me 100 percent and told me to think of it as an early graduation from my high school at that time, St. Johns Catholic Prep.

"The competition at Hargrave was intense and that was something I thrived on. I was able to graduate ahead of my class, heading to LSU a semester early in 2010. I felt that gave me the advantage of settling in and participating in spring practice.

"College was a great experience but I knew when I was ready for the 2014 draft, and judging by what's happened since I decided to declare, it was the best decision.

"This past week has been crazy with our trip to Washington, Illinois to help the tornado victims, the Bears Care party, then bowling yesterday. You kind of wake up in the morning never sure what's coming next. My head is spinning there's so much going on. These events were great for bonding among the rookies and to give us the opportunities to know the vets off of the field.

"I've seen storm damage before but it looks like Washington really got hit hard. You have to hand it to the people there. They never gave up and they've been working every day to bring their town back. They should be proud of what they have accomplished. I appreciated the opportunity to communicate with them. It was our privilege to assist in any way possible last week.

"I feel that I'm in a transition stage right now in terms of my career. I try to take it one day at a time, always improving. There's a lot to pay attention to: my hands, my pad level, everything really. At this point it's all about technique. I know I have the desire to succeed and I'm willing to put in the time and effort, but until my moves on the field are perfect, I'll need to get better.

"The vets have been great. If I need help, they're there. When you think about it, we all have the same goal. They want us to get better and we want to learn from them. It works out well.

"I can't wait until training camp, putting on those pads and getting a little more physical. That's going to be fun."

What's the best thing that has happened to you thus far?

"That the Bears picked me up in the draft and that the experience has been this positive. I feel that I'm in the right place to succeed. I'm going to give this team everything I've got."

Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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