Rookie recap: Chicago Bears DL Ego Ferguson


Former LSU defensive lineman Ego Ferguson is looking to build off of a solid rookie season with the Chicago Bears.

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Chicago Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson did not produce jaw-dropping numbers during his rookie campaign, recording only 12 tackles and two sacks on the season.

What he did do, however, was prove that he is a talented, young player that can be relied upon as the team attempts to rebound from the historically awful defense that it fielded in 2014.

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The Bears selected Ferguson in the second round of last year’s NFL Draft with the 51st overall pick. Despite only starting one season at LSU, the fact that he was able to compile a respectable 58 tackles in 2013 while helping lead the Tigers to a top-10 defense was enough for Chicago to take a chance on him in the early rounds.

After spending his rookie season on the interior line, Ferguson has reportedly dropped some weight and could see action at either nose tackle or defensive end this year. Regardless of where he ends up playing on the line, he can be expected to take on a much larger role in new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme.

To gain better insight into Ego Ferguson’s time with the Bears, as well as his future in Chicago, we spoke with Mike Burzawa of Bear Goggles On.

What was your initial reaction when the Bears selected Ego Ferguson in the second round?

I have to admit, I was a little surprised when the Bears selected Ego in the second round last season. I am not a draftnik, but I do a fair amount of research ahead of the draft and I didn’t have him going as high as he did.  I gave then-Bears GM Phil Emery the benefit of the doubt because he likes to zig when others zag.

Did you expect him to make as much of an impact as he did during his rookie season?

I’ve learned to temper my expectations when it comes to Bears rookies.  Ferguson started off slow, but seemed to come on later in the season. He was credited with 12 tackles and two sacks in 318 defensive snaps, so those aren’t exactly mind-blowing numbers. He seemed to get his hands on a few passes and got some pressures from the DT spot in the Bears pitiful defense that was among the worst in the league. They have nowhere to go but up.

Will he see an increased role this year, with the signing of Ray McDonald backfiring before the season began?

Regardless of the Ray McDonald fiasco, expectations were really high for Ferguson in 2015.  The Bears defense is expected turn around under Vic Fangio’s leadership, and Ferguson figures to be a big part of the Bears defense.

How do you see him fitting into the organization’s plans for the future?

He’s likely going to slide outside from defensive tackle to 3-4 DE. From what I hear, he’s spent the offseason working out and dropped about 10 pounds to get leaner for his changing role.

What should we expect to see from Ferguson during his second year in the league?

I’d expect Ferguson to be a regular contributor in the Bears defensive line rotation. The life of a typical 3-4 defensive end not named JJ Watt is mostly being there to help set the edge and free up the outside linebackers to make plays. If Ferguson can add a handful of sacks and some QB pressures, that’s gravy.  I think he can be a solid starter and a playmaker in Vic Fangio’s attacking 3-4 scheme.

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