Kyle Long is the standard by which we hold modern Bears offensive linemen. Because when he was at the peak of his powers, few were as good as Long was in the trenches. Don’t let that injury history cloud your memory. When he was healthy, Long had it.
Long was big and mean. And really good, too. He played with the type of fire and passion you would expect from the bad boys up front. But did so while not racking up silly penalties that can often come when players who go it with the type of ferocity Long did in his heyday.
Much like the cars of the good ol’ days, they don’t make linemen like they used to. And while Lucas Patrick won’t likely collect a bunch of All-Pro recognition, he is the most likely to bring a kind of nastiness to the line of scrimmage the Bears have been lacking for far too long. It might not be much, but adding him to this offensive line is a first step toward piecing together a collection of blockers who will do right by Justin Fields and the rest of the offense.
Previous: WR Byron Pringle
Coming soon: WR Equanimeous St. Brown, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, DT Justin Jones, LB Nicholas Morrow
Player, Age, Position
Lucas Carter Patrick, 28, guard/center
Contract: 2 years, $8 million ($4 million fully guaranteed in Year 1) (Fowler)
6-3, 313 pounds
17 games with the Green Bay Packers
13 starts, 911 offensive snaps, 5 penalties, 1 sack allowed
73 games with the Packers (2017-21)
Fun fact: Made 28 of his 34 career starts over the last two seasons.
PFF grades: 53.9 (2017), 50.1 (2018), 48.0 (2019), 66.9 (2020), 57.5 (2021)
Patrick’s profile is one that has notable experience at left guard, center, and right guard. One could quibble about what his best position was while he was in Green Bay. But that the Packers trusted Patrick enough to start him at left guard, center, and right guard says something about what the guy brings to the table. Soon enough, he’ll be bringing that versatility from Green Bay, across state lines, and into the Chicagoland area.
Love Lucas Patrick looking for work pic.twitter.com/UJ4aInjZA3
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) January 5, 2021
Lucas Patrick getting after it. Relentless & physical player with value as a swing IOL. pic.twitter.com/wHDDOJxMZS
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) August 23, 2021
Man did Lucas Patrick have a really nice game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guard block both edge rushers on the same play. That’s the definition of finding work. pic.twitter.com/NCWZVpZm5G
— Andy Herman (@AndyHermanNFL) December 27, 2017
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 7, 2022
I could probably listen to Larry McCarren break down offensive lineman tape for hours. But we can keep that little secret between us, can’t we?
Poles Said It
“Lucas is more than just a football player, he is going to add leadership to our offensive line and raise the standard of how the Chicago Bears will play with grit, tenacity, and finish. He is a glue guy in the locker room and on the field and we are fortunate to have him in orange and blue.” – Bears GM Ryan Poles (via the Bears)
Although the Packers never intended him to be a full-time starter, injuries thrust him into that role at different points over the years. And the results were pretty solid considering he was an undrafted free agent who had the capability to be a swing offensive lineman on the interior. Patrick doesn’t have a highlight reel of monster blocks or eye-opening PFF grades. But there is value in positional versatility and flexibility, which figures to come in handy considering Chicago’s offensive line has questions regarding each of its three interior line spots.
Seriously. Let’s not overlook how the Bears are only one year removed from having a converted nose tackle as their primary swingman along the interior offensive line. That the Bears are upgrading this position by signing someone who can be a legitimate starter at three different positions is a major win, even if it doesn’t seem like it because it wasn’t a high-profile signing.
The Final Word
"I don't believe it's a contact sport. I believe it's a collision sport." – New #Bears IOL Lucas Patrick on how he plays the game.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) March 18, 2022
What a refreshing statement from the Bears’ newest lineman.
Offensive line play in Chicago has been inconsistent in recent years. But one constant refrain is that the group lacked an edge. And while the mere concept of playing with an edge is an intangible that can’t be quantified, it is one of those things you know when you see. And you didn’t see it often enough with the Bears over the lat few years. Lucas Patrick isn’t going to change that perception overnight. But his addition to the middle of the line as someone who has shown he can play with some grit could rub off on those around him. If he does, he’ll make a few fans along the way.
And having some personality doesn’t hurt, either: