Did Chicago Bears sign their center of the future?

Chicago Bears - Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Chicago Bears signed Lucas Patrick, many fans did not know what exactly his role would be. He played center in 2021 for the Green Bay Packers, but was slid in as a backup and played right guard for most of 2020. Beyond that, his salary did not scream that he would certainly be a starter.

However, during his introductory press conference, Lucas Patrick said he plans to play center, and also that he plans to be in that role for the foreseeable future.

It is worth noting that the Bears told him that this is how they view him. This makes plenty of sense in a few ways.

First. at age 28 Patrick is much younger than other options such as Matt Paradis, Ryan Jensen, Ben Jones, and J.C. Tretter, who all have been discussed as options. Being four years younger than most of these names means that as he grows into the role, Justin Fields will grow with him.

It is great to have a veteran such as Tretter for Fields, but Tretter may only be an option for two years while Patrick could be an option for much longer if it works.

Speaking of Patrick being on a better timeline for Justin Fields, Patrick may go a long way in assisting Fields with the new Luke Getsy offense.

Sure, Getsy was not calling plays for the Packers, but the fact that Patrick came to play for Getsy in his offense shows that he is interested in what Getsy has been selling philosophically.,

Also, the two have a better understanding of the language than Justin Fields, so having Patrick there to help keep things standard goes a long way. Considering Getsy went out of his way to bring in the guy he saw start at center last season, Getsy obviously sees a long-term starter here.

That is why the team expressed a strong commitment.

Why Chicago Bears invested in Lucas Patrick

Beyond being a helpful reference for Fields, Patrick also was brought into to set a culture and a tone in the offensive line room. Getsy knows what type of player he is, and Ryan Poles say he wanted to add much more toughness to the room.

Getsy sole Poles quickly, and Poles committed to making him the man in the middle, who will help with communication, but will help even more by setting a physical standard in the room.

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When you combine this you can understand why the team thinks that they may have their center of the future. If the right player falls in the draft and beats Patrick fair and square, that is one thing. However, they are going to spend on someone like J.C. Tretter, or any other free agent older and more expensive than Lucas Patrick.