The Bears inked Patrick to a two-year, $8 million contract that included a $2,965,000 signing bonus and $4 million guaranteed with the aim of making him the team’s new starting center.
Poles, a former offensive lineman himself, spoke with the media at the NFL owners meetings on March 28 and confirmed Patrick will be the team’s starting center. “I do see him as a center,” Poles said, via the team’s official website. “He has an ability to play guard, but I think the best position is center. Always when you’ve got guys that can be flexible, you might have to address some things. But that’s where he’ll start out and we’ll see how it goes.”
Poles also called Patrick a prick — but he meant it in the best possible way.
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Poles on Patrick: ‘He’s a Prick and He Knows it’
The Bears gave up a league-high 58 sacks in 2021, and Poles has made it a point to discuss changes he’d like to see on the offensive line, effective immediately. Those changes include instilling a toughness and an edge he didn’t see from the unit last season. The new Bears GM says Patrick embodies that edge.
“The things he was screaming on the phone after we got a deal done kind of showed what he’s all about,” Poles said. “He embodies that. He’s a prick, and he knows it, and that’s how he survives, and that’s what we need up front.”
Poles also noted he thinks Patrick is going to set the tone for the rest of the O-line moving forward.
“Just doing it myself, that’s contagious,” Poles added. “Other people either have got to go with it or you just don’t fit in. That’s going to improve the rest of the group, and we’re going to keep adding guys like that. … It’ll be big because instead of that gap trying to figure out what he needs to do, he should have a really good foundation of that and then that time can be spent making sure everybody else knows what to do.”
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Patrick Also Fits New HC Matt Eberflus’ ‘M&M’ Principle
The 28-year-old Patrick allowed 18 pressures, four QB hits and 1.0 sacks in 911 snaps with the Green Bay Packers last year, per PFF. He embodies the kind of physical presence Poles and new head coach Matt Eberflus plan to instill on both sides of the ball.
When speaking with the media at the owners meetings on March 29, Eberflus broke down the “M&M principle,” — with the two “M’s” standing for motor and mean.
“It’s about having great motor and about being mean, and that’s what you need at your lines,” Eberflus said, per The Athletic. “The defensive line needs that and the offensive line needs that. Man, you’ve got to finish, and when you finish the right way at the line level and you play with that demeanor, that meanness, that’s the kind of guy we want to acquire. … We’re going to demand that.”