New Bears center: Unfair to compare Justin Fields to Aaron Rodgers

Fields, though, has a skill set that has jumped out to Lucas Patrick during the offseason program.

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Bears quarterback Justin Fields stands on the field and chats with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers last year.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields, left, chats with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers last year.

Kamil Krzaczynski/AP

Lucas Patrick was Aaron Rodgers’ center last year and is Justin Fields’ snapper this season. And, no, he doesn’t want to compare the Bears’ second-year quarterback to the Packers legend.

“It’s tough to compare those two guys,” he said Tuesday after the Bears’ OTA practice at Halas Hall. “You know, you’ve got, what, a 16-, 17-year veteran and a second-year player. I mean, if I’m being honest, it’s like comparing an apple to an orange. It’s kind of a tough one, to pigeonhole those against each other.”

The same could be said of every quarterback the Bears have pitted against Rodgers. In 28 starts, Rodgers has beaten his rival 23 times. Fields, though, has skills that have jumped out to Patrick during the offseason program.

“Fast,” he said. “He can get moving pretty quick. He’s a fun guy. He’s young, so he likes to have the juice and the energy. He’s got a live arm. I mean, there were a few throws he made today where that ball — it’s like it keeps getting faster in the air.”

Three not there

Veteran defensive linemen Robert Quinn, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Mario Edwards Jr. did not participate in the OTA practice, which was voluntary. None of the three took part in the voluntary minicamp last month, either.

Quinn said last month that, as an 11-year veteran, he knew how to prepare his body for the rigors of the season on his own.

“I want ’em all here,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “But it’s voluntary. So they don’t have to be here. [Quinn] does know his body, and he’s been a darn good player for a long time. I wish he was here.”

This and that

Eberflus didn’t complain publicly about the Bears’ schedule, which features the latest bye week in the league: Week 14.

“That doesn’t matter,” he said. “It is what it is, and we’ve got to play the schedule. But you look at it.”

Because of the late bye week, the Bears will build out their regular-season practice schedule to try to give appropriate rest, Eberflus said.

• The Bears signed tackle Shon Coleman, a third-round pick by the Browns in 2016 who hasn’t started since 2017, and cut punter Ryan Winslow. That leaves seventh-round pick Trenton Gill as the Bears’ only punter.

Velus Jones, the Tennessee wide receiver who was drafted in the third round, signed his four-year rookie contract.

• Eberflus, who turned 52 on Tuesday, said the Bears aren’t likely to hold joint practices with any of their three preseason opponents, though he had discussions with one of them.

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