New Bears OL Has Strong Message for Packers, QB Justin Fields

Justin Fields

Getty Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears celebrates a win during the 2021 season.

The Chicago Bears signed versatile offensive lineman Lucas Patrick to a two-year, $8 million contract with the goal of making him their starting center next season, and potentially beyond.

In his first meeting with the media since the Bears signed him away from the rival Green Bay Packers, Patrick made some statements that may endear him to Bears Nation right out of the gate. The team’s future center also discussed how he plans to build a relationship with second-year quarterback Justin Fields, who was sacked 36 times in 10 starts last season.

“It’s definitely going to be a lot of forced relationship conversations,” Patrick said about building the center-QB relationship at his introductory press conference on March 18.

“Justin’s going to be pretty annoyed by me maybe, but no, it’ll be fun,” the 28-year-old offensive lineman added. “It’s just going to work. We’re going to have to trust each other. Also, one of the good things about forming a good relationship is I’ll have to listen, because there’s a reason he was brought here and there’s a reason he is the player he is and kind of listen to what he thinks he does well and what has worked for him and hopefully expand that as much as I can.”

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Patrick Acknowledged Fields’ Toughness

Fields was sacked six times total in Chicago’s two losses to Green Bay in 2021, and Patrick, was was wearing green and gold at the time, says he remembers the 23-year-old QB’s toughness standing out.

“Honestly, I was biting my tongue on the sideline hoping this guy doesn’t get loose,” Patrick said, referencing Fields’ mobility. “He’s — I mean he’s got it and you know 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: he’s tough. I mean, 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.”

Patrick also noted he plans on keeping Fields upright.

“I don’t want to speak too much on stats, but I’ve had a good track record over the last two years of blocking for a quarterback, and keeping him pretty clean,” Patrick said. “I plan to keep him as clean as possible so he can make the plays that he was brought in here to make.”

Patrick isn’t blowing smoke. In 911 snaps played on o-line last year, Patrick allowed 18 pressures, four QB hits and 1.0 sacks, per PFF. In 2020, Patrick played 939 snaps, and he gave up 3.0 sacks and 16 pressures while not allowing a single QB hit. If he can continue playing effectively, the Bears may have gotten a steal this offseason.

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Patrick Also Reveals Key to Beating Packers

The Bears have lost six straight and 23 of their last 27 games against the Packers, and Patrick had some strong thoughts on the rivalry.

“To go from one historic franchise to the historic franchise in the NFL, it’s Chicago, it speaks for itself,” he said. “That was too good to pass up.”

Patrick also referenced new Bears’ GM Ryan Poles’ assertion Chicago was going to take the NFC North “and never give it back.

“I firmly believe to win a Bears-Packers game you’ve got to be physical, you’ve got to be tough (up front) and that’s what we’re going to do here,” Patrick added. “Typically, I feel like whoever wins those games takes the North and, like Ryan said, that’s the goal here. Take the North, get to the playoffs, get a shot at the Lombardi.”

“I’ve been on the winning side and I’m going to stay on the winning side,” he added.

You can watch Patrick’s full presser below:

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