The bond between Scott and Stevenson formed months before the rookie duo shared a locker room at Halas Hall. In Week 2 of the Rookie Diaries series, the two talked about meeting each other in Tampa when training for the NFL Combine at House of Athletes.
While 2023 is when their friendship formed, it was 2021 when Scott and Stevenson first crossed paths. Stevenson remembers the exact date: Jan. 1, 2021, when Cincinnati and Georgia faced off in the Peach Bowl. Scott was a freshman for the Bearcats while Stevenson was a sophomore for the Bulldogs.
When the two arrived in Tampa this January – training full-time in the city up until the draft – Scott thought Stevenson was familiar, but couldn't quite place it. Not knowing anyone from Miami – where Stevenson played his final two years of college football – Scott figured his mind was playing tricks on him.
Then Stevenson brought up Georgia and that's when it clicked. Eric Stokes, now a Packers cornerback, opted out of the bowl game, allowing Stevenson to make his first career start at cornerback. That's when he lined up against Scott and, without knowing, met his future teammate.
"I caught a 4-yard out, my only catch of the game," Scott said. "I still have a video of it in my phone. I didn't get too many reps that game. I was a freshman that year. So I remember the face, the scouting report, I'm like something looks so familiar. That's how we first originally met and it came back full circle when we met again."
Almost exactly two years later, the rookies grew from strangers to brothers in the four months they spent together in Florida. Stevenson's favorite memory with Scott is when the two experienced their first disagreement when talking about their perspectives on life. In that moment, Stevenson and Scott realized their personalities couldn't be further apart.
"We are two completely different people," Scott said. "But I feel like that just brings us together too and that's what makes us connect, that opposites connect. We're able to agree to disagree on so many different things. But, it's all love between the both of us. Every time I see him, I know he's going to say something that's going to irk me, get on my nerves. But it's just all fun, just talking and chopping it up with each other."
What makes Stevenson laugh now when reflecting on that moment is the conversation had nothing to do with football, but their opinions on relationships. As they watched each other train and chase their dream of reaching the NFL, Stevenson realized they actually had the same goal.
"On the football field, we're both competitors," Stevenson said. "We both want to go out and dominate the guy across from us. We both feel like we prepared for this. We both feel like we're meant to be here. Everything is coming together for the both of us for a reason.
"They didn't have to draft us, but they brought us here to give us an opportunity to showcase that, to put on for the Chicago Bears, put on for our family, also put on for our last name. So we both definitely understand that this is a great opportunity. We both want to succeed and possibly bring a Super Bowl back here."
Since reuniting in Chicago, the relationship between Stevenson and Scott has only strengthened. While they don't often face off in practice, it's the support system they provide each other in the locker room or on the sideline that matters most.
The confidence Stevenson exudes on a daily basis is what Scott values most about his teammate.
"He's walked in with this dog mentality," Scott said. "He's walked in with this chip on his shoulder, and an 'I'm the guy, I belong here' type mentality. It shows when he plays, you just see no fear when he lines up. No matter who is across from him, he just sees Os, he doesn't see people."
Even with Stevenson's mentality, Scott also notices a rare humbleness rather than cockiness. He appreciates how the cornerback always puts his best foot forward, remains extremely coachable and shows up for his team each day.
From Stevenson's perspective, Scott is the exact opposite, calling him a "calm breeze." Stevenson compares he and Scott to brothers, with him being the vocal one and Scott being the levelheaded one.
"Tyler is calm, cool and collected, understands what his purpose is, understand what his game is. For somebody like me, who is outspoken and confident, I need that sometimes. When we talk, I bring certain ideas, he brings certain ideas and it evens out because he's calm and I'm kind of all over the place. I just appreciate his calmness. I appreciate his approach to the game. I appreciate his hard work."
With the Bears first game of the 2023 season on the horizon, the rookies are eager to capture their first big moments as NFL players. But Stevenson and Scott are equally as excited to watch each other succeed.
Knowing Scott takes pride in making it to the NFL and representing Akron, Ohio, Stevenson is rooting for his teammate to show out for his hometown. Stevenson understands what it's like to come from a place where these opportunities are rare. He's excited to watch Scott "go out there and ball."
On the flip side, Scott lights up when he thinks about the playmaking ability Stevenson already highlighted in the preseason. Scott is proud of the way his teammate has handled the opportunity to assume the cornerback spot opposite of Jaylon Johnson and looks forward to him making more "splash plays" this season.
"We've got the division rival in Green Bay Week 1," Scott said. "I'm excited to see what Tyrique can do. I'm confident in what he can do and that's big, just having trust in your teammates. I definitely have that confidence and trust that when he's out there, I know that he'll make a play. He can show up. So, it should be fun to share that for sure."