Bears offensive lineman Lucas Patrick: 'I have not been playing to my standard'


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- As the Bears continue to struggle offensively, there’s blame to be shared all around. With that in mind, veteran offensive lineman Lucas Patrick is ready to take plenty himself.

Patrick on Thursday spoke candidly about his performance through six games, saying that he and the Bears’ offensive line must improve to give second-year quarterback Justin Fields a better chance at success.

“I personally need to be better for this team," Patrick said. "What I was brought in here to do and perform, I have not been playing to my standard, point blank. Just trying to work at it. I do commend this offense for how we work day in and day out, week in and week out. There's a ton of juice and practice and so much want-to. There's a lot of things we’re doing right. Sometimes, breaks don’t come your way.

“It’s a different approach, but there’s no excuses in this game. If I'm in there playing, the guy I'm going against doesn’t care. Whether I've had 1,000 snaps, one snap, playing left, right, whatever, I have to perform. I'm going to work at performing at a higher level.”

With 10 days off between games, the Bears have re-evaluated their starting offensive line, though coach Matt Eberflus declined to reveal whether changes will come for the group. One possibility in play is for Patrick to shift from guard to center, the position he signed a two-year deal to play back in March.

Patrick spent the Bears’ offseason program working as the team’s starting center before suffering a right hand fracture during training camp in late July. Sam Mustipher then took over the starting center role in place of Patrick, who opened the regular season rotating at right guard. When Cody Whitehair suffered a knee injury during the Bears’ loss to the Giants on Oct. 2, Patrick moved in as the starting left guard and Teven Jenkins worked as the full-time starting right guard.

The Bears (2-4) rank 31st in scoring, 28th in total offense and 32nd in passing yardage this season. Fields has completed 54.8% of his passes for 869 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions in the team's 2-4 start. Fields has also been sacked on 16.7% of his dropbacks, by far the most of any quarterback in the NFL. He enters Week 7 tied for the most sacks taken with 23, the same figure as Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz.

While Eberflus and the Bears have pointed to the cumulative team effort of pass protection, Patrick placed the burden on the offensive line.

“If we keep him clean or we give him a rush lane to sneak out, he’s a very special player,” Patrick said of Fields. “We have to live up to the standard that we have in our room and really help him become the elite player that he is. You can’t change my mind that that guy is not a future stud in this league. The way he throws it, the way he’s consistent, the way he’s run, just his positive personality.

“We just got to be better for him because he deserves it.”

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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