Slaughter quarterback finds balance in Chicago

 
By Caitlin Swieca
cswieca@dailyherald.com
Updated 5/17/2012 6:30 PM
hello
  • Chicago Slaughter head coach Steve "Mongo" McMichael has his team on a three-game win streak thanks to some improved play by his two-quarterback system with former Syracuse QB Perry Patterson and former Illini QB Juice Williams. The Slaughter plays the Reading Express Friday night at the Sears Centre Arena.

    Chicago Slaughter head coach Steve "Mongo" McMichael has his team on a three-game win streak thanks to some improved play by his two-quarterback system with former Syracuse QB Perry Patterson and former Illini QB Juice Williams. The Slaughter plays the Reading Express Friday night at the Sears Centre Arena. Daily Herald file

After spending parts of the last six years bouncing around four different leagues on two continents, Perry Patterson has found a stable position with the Chicago Slaughter.

Patterson, a former Syracuse quarterback, tried out for three NFL teams before moving on to the Arena Football League and the Indoor Football League. After spending last year with the Zurich Renegades of the European Football League, Perry returned to America to play quarterback for the Slaughter of the Indoor Football League.

Patterson, who shares the position with former Illinois quarterback Juice Williams, said football has taken on a new meaning for him in the last couple of years.

"Before coming out of college, I was more so trying to get into the NFL and work myself through the leagues," Patterson said. "Now, it's just getting a head start on life. Just being able to play the game I love, making a couple dollars doing so, and preparing for life after football."

That approach has given him a new attitude about sharing snaps with Williams. Although Patterson usually directs a majority of the plays, the balance between the quarterbacks is determined by coaches based on game situations, and Patterson said the duo have embraced their roles.

"Neither one of us is used to coming out of the game, so it was a big adjustment for both of us," he said. "We get along very well, and it's not something that's a duel between us. It's not something that we take personal."

The game plan seems to be working for the Slaughter lately. After losing six games in a row, the team has won its last three. With a 4-6 record, the team has moved into fourth place and rescued its chances of making the IFL playoffs. The Slaughter will try to continue its hot streak Friday night as it hosts the Reading Express, a 2-8 team, at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Patterson attributes the turnaround to good luck and a growing familiarity among the players.

"We found a group of receivers and offensive weapons that we've gotten used to," he said. "The more we play with each other, the better we're going to be. It's been showing the last few weeks."

After the team makes its playoff push, Perry plans to see whether he has any offers from teams in the Canadian Football League. If not, he will return to Zurich, Switzerland, where his girlfriend, a teacher, lives.

Patterson has been taking classes at the TEFL Institute in Chicago, which certifies people to teach English as a foreign language, and plans to get a job doing so in Switzerland.

"It's not so stressful as it used to be, where it was all 'football football football, I have to make it,'" Patterson said. "If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I'm kind of preparing myself to get ready to move on."

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.