LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –The Chicago Bears team that takes the field this season will have a lot more new faces than returning ones, especially on the offensive line where three veteran free agents will be hoping to make life easier for Justin Fields.
The first free agent signing was Lucas Patrick, the former Packers center. He’ll be snapping the ball to Justin Fields.
The second signing this past Monday was former Chargers guard Michael Schofield.
The third free agent brought in on the line was tackle Riley Reiff. He just signed on Tuesday. These three veterans are not exactly All-Pros, but the three of them should prevent Justin Fields from getting sacked 58 times. The Bears led the NFL last season in sacks allowed.
Schofield was ecstatic about signing with the Bears. He is from Orland Park, Bears Country, so naturally he was a Bears fan as a kid.
“It’s a dream come true for sure to be able to play here. I’m definitely excited for the opportunity,” said Schofield during a press conference at Halas Hall on Wednesday.
Believe it or not, Schofield’s favorite Bear as a kid wasn’t an offensive lineman.
“It was Marty Booker. Yea, back when I wanted to be a receiver.”
Reiff is a Midwest guy who first made a name for himself as an Iowa Hawkeye. Now he has become Mr. NFC North. He has suited up for the Lions, the Vikings and now the Bears.
“There was some other teams interested (in signing him) and, you know, the Bears really made a strong push,” said Reiff. “I’m a Midwest guy, an NFC North guy.
Reiff is coming off a Super Bowl appearance last season with the Bengals. They weren’t expected to do anything last year, much like the Bears aren’t expected to achieve much this season.
“It was a fun year,” said Reiff. “It was something that I won’t take for granted ever. We didn’t talk about the Super Bowl before the (year). We just started stacking good practices after good practices. That’s what we did, and I think we can do that here.”
Schofield and Reiff are known for being nice guys. So is Patrick off the field, but he brings a nasty streak on the field.
Patrick worked closely with Aaron Rodgers the last few years, so did he learn anything from Rodgers that he’ll share with Fields?
“I think that would be something we would share in private,” said Patrick.
All three lineman are probably bridge guys in Chicago, just trying to get the Bears through this season. Reiff and Schofield are on one-year contracts. Patrick only has a two-year deal, but if they can make life better for Fields, their time in Chicago will be well spent.
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