Bears Rookie Sounds Off on ‘Big Brother’ Teammate

Bears Big Brother

Through nearly four weeks of training camp and two weeks of the preseason, Chicago Bears rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson has leaned on “big brother” Jaylon Johnson. Johnson, 24, is already one of the more tenured Bears players. He is tied with EDGE rusher Trevis Gipson with three years of service in Chicago.

Like Johnson, Stevenson is a second-round pick, and the two have formed quite a bond.

The two could be seen off to the side during team drills at practice the day before, chatting it up while the action ensued on the field.

Rookie Tyrique Stevenson Sounds Off on ‘Big Brother’ Jaylon Johnson

Tyrique Stevenson: Jaylon Johnson ‘Plays Big Brother Role’

“It’s been pretty good. to be honest,” Stevenson said after practice on August 24. “I really realized he’s just a year older than me. But he’s been in the league a lot longer. So just whenever I got a question, or whether I don’t understand anything, I always go and ask him. And he always plays the big brother role and gives me the information that I need.”

So, what was that information on Wednesday?

“The conversation was pretty much about just formations,” Stevenson said. “And understanding that, if the receiver splits, cut down. Could I play it this way or should I walk down and play at a certain level?

“I’m just always asking questions just to be able to go out there and make sure I hold my part down on the other side.”

There are high hopes for Stevenson. He figures to at least open the regular season as the starter on the outside opposite Johnson with second-year corner, Kyler Gordon – another former second-round pick – manning the slot. All he has done since arriving is live up to expectations, though.

Eddie Jackson Compares Tyrique Stevenson to Jaquan Brisker

“You see it from Day 1, the type of guy he is,” teammate Eddie Jackson said on June 13. “He just kind of reminds me of [Jaquan] Brisker – the mindset. … He’s just going to come out there and ball and play. And right now I feel like he’s stepping up to the plate.”

Brisker – also a second-round pick in last year’s draft – quickly made a name for himself last season. His willingness to mix it up and be disruptive was apparent right away.

He finished the season with just one interception as a rookie. But he also logged two deflections, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery, and recorded 4.0 sacks to tie for the team lead. Heading into Week 3 of the preseason, Stevenson has the third-best tackle grade and fifth-best coverage grade on the team while logging the second-most snaps. per Pro Football Focus.

If Stevenson can replicate Brisker’s impact as a rookie, the Bears secondary will be in good shape for years to come.

Keep an Eye on Tyrique Stevenson

Stevenson’s development throughout the season will be something to monitor.

Johnson is heading into the final year of his contract this season. Despite both sides seeming amenable to a new deal, nothing has come to fruition. The Bears always have the option to franchise tag Johnson next offseason if they want. The tag is projected to come in at $20 million next summer, though, per Over The Cap.

General manager Ryan Poles has proven he will move on from anyone on the team if it makes sense.

Bears’ Jaylon Johnson Clarifies Stance on Contract Extension Amid Absence

At any rate, Stevenson figures to be targeted heavily this season just as Gordon was last year as a rookie so his confidence will be key as he prepares for a Week 1 matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay traded long-time starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets this offseason.

But second-year players Romeo Dobbs and Christian Watson and rookie Jayden Reed give first-year starting quarterback Jordan Love a dynamic trio of perimeter playmakers.