He only spoke for about 15 minutes from the NFL owners meetings earlier today, but Chicago Bears’ GM Ryan Poles spent some of that time lauding one of his free agent pickups, center Lucas Patrick. And yes, Patrick will indeed will be manning the middle of the Bears o-line.
“I do see him as a center,” Poles said via the team’s site. “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.”
The 28-year old Patrick has played both guard and center at times during his six years in Green Bay, but his leadership and knowledge of the new offensive scheme makes him a natural fit at center in Chicago, especially with a second year QB in Justin FIelds.
“They make the calls,” Poles’ said of the center. “They make the adjustments. That’s going to help Justin out in terms of protections so he knows where his pass rush is coming from. I think that’s a big advantage.”
Patrick’s football IQ and his familiarity with new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was part of why Poles made him a priority free agent, but it’s his intangibles that sealed the deal.
“He’s a prick,” Poles said about Patrick, “and he knows it, and that’s how he survives, and that’s what we need up front.”
Poles wants his offensive linemen to play the game with a nasty demeanor and to go all out from whistle to whistle, and the former UDFA from Duke has that type of tenacity in his DNA.