The Chicago Bears addressed their offensive line concerns with the under-the-radar addition of Lucas Patrick, who signed a two-year deal worth up to $8 million with $4 million guaranteed in his first season.
Patrick has spent the last six years with the Green Bay Packers, where he’s going from one historic franchise to another. With the concerns on the offensive line, including the departure of James Daniels in free agency, Patrick will serve a key starting role within the interior.
Let’s get to know the Bears’ newest offensive lineman in Patrick:
Patrick worked with Luke Getsy in Green Bay
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Patrick has experience with new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy during their time in Green Bay, where Getsy has coached for seven years and Patrick has played for six years.
The Bears are learning a new scheme under Getsy, so it’s certainly a plus bringing in someone with experience like Patrick, who can help teach the scheme to his teammates.
“Just the experience I have with it … I understand a lot of what he wants to do and understand him as a person as well,” Patrick said. “And I think that helps to disseminate information from him to guys so that you can say like, ‘hey, this is what he’s saying but he means this.’ Or, ‘when he calls this, this is what we’re trying to do here. This is the big goal.'”
Patrick turned down several offers from other teams
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Patrick wasn’t considered a big-name addition for Chicago, especially considering there was plenty of work to be done on the offensive line. But the fact that he had nearly a dozen teams courting him says otherwise. Patrick turned down 10-12 offers from other teams to sign with the Bears.
Why, you ask? It’s a combination of different things.
“There were other offers. There were about 10-12 teams that were interested, with differing opportunities and different offers,” Patrick said. “But this seemed like the perfect fit of both. Just to come here with Luke, the opportunity to help establish something here, not that there’s not been amazing history, but the recent past hasn’t been too exciting. I’m used to winning and that’s what I’m bringing. We’re going to win games.”
Patrick has played three different positions on the offensive line
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One of the biggest strengths with Patrick is his versatility along the offensive line, where he’s played three different positions. During his time with the Packers, he’s spent time at center, left guard and right guard.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the NFL, it’s be ready to play any position,” Patrick said. “That’s definitely one thing I’ll bring to this team is the availability and the reliability at multiple positions.”
So which position will he play in Chicago?
Patrick will play center with the Bears
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When meeting with the media for the first time, Patrick revealed that he was brought in to play center for the Bears. Which means the most important thing for Patrick is his relationship with his new quarterback Justin Fields. Patrick said he plans on “annoying” Fields as the two start working together.
“We’re going to have to trust each other,” Patrick said. “There’s a reason he was brought here and there’s a reason he is the player he is, and [I’ll] listen to what he thinks he does well and what has worked for him and hopefully expand that as much as I can.”
Patrick is a big fan of Justin Fields
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The Bears are hoping they’ve found their franchise quarterback in Justin Fields, who’s coming off a rocky rookie year. But the focus this year rightfully shifts to building around Fields, something that wasn’t done last season.
Fields has already got a fan in Patrick, which you have to believe played a role in him signing with Chicago.
“I mean, he’s got it,” Patrick said. “He can sling it, he can run it, he can do everything. But what I would say from our games, specifically the game that was here (in Chicago), he’s tough. He stood in there and he’s tough. And he looked like he dealt with a lot this year not only coming in with that pressure he had, but also physically dealing with some of the shots he took and some other things.”
That’s something the Bears are looking to limit in 2022, and Patrick feels like he’s someone who’s definitely going to keep his QB upright.
“I don’t want to speak too much on statistics, but I’ve had a good track record over the last two years of blocking for a quarterback and keeping him pretty clean,” he said. “And I plan to keep him as clean as possible so he can make the plays that he was brought in here to make.”
Patrick has a fan in Aaron Rodgers
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Packers fans were disappointed to lose Patrick, who had impressed during his time in Green Bay. You certainly have to figure that his former quarterback Aaron Rodgers was also sad to see him go.
Rodgers had strong praise for Patrick, who moved from guard to center in place of an injured Josh Myers last season.
“(I) love the kid,” Rodgers said. “I tell him every single time he’s out there that I love going to battle with him because he’s the kind of a guy you know is going to have your back and you know is going to be in the right position at all times and doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing — and battle and scrap and claw and fight as hard as he can.
“There’s not a specific value you can put on that because the role that he plays can be priceless at times.”