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Rookie Diaries


Bears rookie diaries with Tyler Scott, Tyrique Stevenson
By Tyler Scott and Tyrique Stevenson, as told to Gabby Hajduk

Bears fourth-round pick Tyler Scott—a receiver from Cincinnati—and second-round pick Tyrique Stevenson—a defensive back from Miami—share their training camp experiences exclusively on This series will feature both players giving first-person accounts once a week through the preseason.

Tyler Scott

Week 5

I think we all saw what happened to me at my rookie dinner last weekend in Indianapolis. I mean the video Reece [Daurice Fountain] took was posted on every platform from the NFL's page to ESPN. It went viral and I can't lie, I did gain some good social media followers from that.

Here's how it went down. The receiver room had been talking about my rookie dinner since I got to Chicago. I knew that was something guys all around the league did, but I kept brushing it off. I hoped the guys would forget or I could sweep it under the rug.

Then, we got to Indy. That's when DJ [Moore] brought it up and he doesn't usually talk about stuff like that. So once he said something, I thought, "oh gosh, this is real." So, he set up the dinner at a steakhouse in Indianapolis Friday night.

We had a walkthrough that day and guys who weren't playing in Saturday's game, like DJ, Justin [Fields] and [Darnell] Mooney, were on the sidelines. The whole time, they're talking about, "man, I can't wait to get to dinner tonight. I've got to get a to-go meal. I've got to get an extra meal for after the game." They're just trolling me the whole time.

I told DJ how much money I was fine with spending and I told him to keep it under wraps. I said, "I'm putting my trust in you," and he said he had it under control. So I got dragged to dinner Friday night in my hoodie and slides – pissed because I gotta spend some money – while all the guys were dressed nice and excited to go.

We get to dinner and once we start ordering appetizers, I began taking note of everything. I'm doing my calculations, thinking, "okay, that's not expensive. Okay, that won't take a big hit." We get our meals – I had salmon and mashed potatoes – and guys ordered pretty modestly. I'm thinking, "okay, this is cool." We're having a good time together, eating a good meal.

Then the bill comes out and before the waitress could hand it to me, the guys grab it and that's when everyone's cameras come out. They're passing it around and I'm just watching the different reactions. When Chase [Claypool] picked up the bill, that's when I got nervous, because he said, "oh that ain't bad." I know Chase and he's just goofy so when he said that I'm thinking, "oh it's bad."

It finally gets to me and I saw "$20,000." First, my heart immediately dropped. Second, I felt so betrayed – like super betrayed. At that moment, I burned all the bridges at that table. I thought, "I'm done with every single one of you guys." I'm thinking, "I told DJ to keep it under wraps."

Long story short, it was a prank. The bill wasn't $20,000, not even close. DJ set the whole prank up and then actually took care of dinner. Shoutout DJ. At the end of the day, it was pretty cool to have a vet like DJ do that.

Honestly, that was a moment that brought us closer as a group. Everyone got a good kick out of it and it's something we'll be able to look back on and laugh about. At the end of the day, it just shows that they all really embraced me. I'm only 21. I'm the youngest in the room so everyone kind of looks at me like the little brother. They've accepted me with open arms, and it's made for such an easy transition going from college to the NFL.

My viral moment aside, I'm looking forward to this weekend and the last preseason game so I can continue proving myself. After being out for a bit last week, I finally got the chance to come back and practice which is huge for me. I felt good. I felt bouncy and I just felt confident being out there.

At the end of the day, I came here to make plays and take advantage of my opportunities, so it's important I keep doing that against the Bills Saturday.

It's one of the last chances to showcase my abilities before roster cuts happen. I always had the mindset of needing to proving myself no matter if I was a draft pick, taken first overall or went undrafted. Everyone has to prove they belong, so I've taken every day with the hunger and mindset of "I still have to prove it."

When you actually get to the league, you have to earn every single thing you get. You have to earn the trust of your teammates. I don't think Justin looks out there when he gets the snap and thinks, "oh I'm throwing to an undrafted guy," or "oh, I'm throwing to a fourth-round pick." He's out there looking at, "can I trust this guy to make a play?"

That's the biggest thing I'm trying to prove – getting the trust of Justin and the entire team – and I feel like I'm getting there. Justin's been a huge help as well. Even on plays he's not throwing to me, he'll come over and coach me up from a quarterback standpoint. He'll say, "hey, this is what we're looking for" or "this is what we see."

Those moments are huge for me because if he didn't see me as an asset, as somebody who can help him out, he wouldn't be doing those things. That's definitely a place we're continuing to grow and I'm excited to keep proving I'm going to be a guy Justin can trust.

Tyrique Stevenson

Week 5

There was no rookie dinner for me in Indy, thank god. But, my position group all went out to eat one of the nights and just spent some good time together. We got to learn a little more about each other and we honestly just kicked it.

Jaylon [Johnson] was a guy I learned a lot about that night. I found out he's only a year older than me. He's got a little girl and he's happy about being a dad. And he's a man of faith. Figuring out some simple things like that helps me better understand him as a person.

Chicago Bears take on the Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, August 19, 2023, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Finding that personal stuff out about your teammates adds even more respect for them because at the end of the day, they're here. That means they worked hard. I worked hard. Everybody in that circle proved a lot of haters and doubters wrong, so there's more respect there.

Being close with my teammates is kind of natural for me. I feel like I'm approachable and I put myself out there so when you come around me, you're going to figure out who I am. I'm a workhorse, but I'm also a safe person to be around. I'm not stuck up. I'll have a conversation with you about anything.

I want to be that teammate you can call anytime – maybe you need a ride at 3 a.m. and nobody's answering you. I have no problem getting up and coming to get you. I just try to make sure that people around me, especially in my room, feel that.

Chicago Bears players and coaches on the field for Day 4 of training camp at Halas Hall, Saturday, July 29, 2023, in Lake Forest, Illinois.

As far as the game went in Indy, it was just amazing to go out there for a second week and compete as a Chicago Bear. Feeling the intensity of the team during practices and seeing that this team is hungry to win, it was such a good feeling to still be able to play in the game.

With the game being at night, I had to figure out how to stay mentally locked in for the whole day so I didn't tire myself out. I got off social media for the day, didn't watch any videos. I listened to white and green noise. I typically try to listen to those throughout the day to help me rest my nerves and rest my mind. My pregame routine didn't really change. I stretched, hydrated correctly and meditated like usual.

Chicago Bears take on the Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, August 19, 2023, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Against the Colts, there was a play that obviously stuck out to me, but it wasn't a good one. It was the first time in my life the ball went through my hands. I knew immediately I just missed it and I heard the crowd yell and chant, meaning they caught the touchdown. That's going to stay with me for the rest of my life.

In the moment, I was going to dwell on it, but I corralled the guys around me, told them it was my bad and then it was onto the next play. All my coach said was, "catch the ball." It's as simple as it could get.

Two weeks in a row I had an opportunity to get an interception and having it slip straight through my hands, literally, just shows me I still have something to improve on. It gave me great insight that this is the NFL. No matter how confident I am, I'm still playing with guys just as good. Everybody's the best at their position.

I'll be holding onto that play to give me that edge that I need to go out there and do something different to help myself. This week after practices, I've tried to do three or four buckets of JUGS instead of just doing one or one and a half.

From the first preseason game to now, I feel like my knowledge and understanding of where I'm at on the field, who I'm going against and what the offense is trying to do has improved. My knowledge of situational football has increased.

My mindset for this last preseason game isn't any different than the first, but man, I'm trying to get an interception – at least one. I want to leave this game letting the league, my coaches and everyone at Halas Hall know that I'm ready to go for the regular season.

Being back at Soldier Field means just as much as it did the first week. I've got another opportunity to go play the game I love and wear the Chicago Bears uniform. I know I keep saying that but I just know what I've sacrificed to get to this point. I know the ups and downs I've been through with this football life.

Chicago Bears take on the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, August 12, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

When I tore my shoulder my junior year of college, I realized I had not yet cherished every moment of this game. I always knew I was good enough to play this game and I was good enough to make a team, but I hadn't cherished the opportunity I got every day to put on some cleats and a jersey. So at Miami and Georgia, I made it a point to buy all my helmets and every game jersey.

Having all of it now, when I look at one of my helmets or jerseys, I get a sincere feeling of appreciation for every moment. I'm getting them all shipped up from Miami right now. I want to dedicate my whole place to those things. It's not in an arrogant or cocky way, I just like to hang things up that mean a lot to me. I want to always remind myself, "why am I doing this? what I'm doing it for?"

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