Chris Conte and Craig Steltz Back at Practice

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by B-ell-y-iot, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    Chris Conte rejoins Bears at practice
    By Dan Wiederer
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    Chris Conte spent the first 17 days of Bears training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

    BOURBONNAIS – Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte returned to practice Sunday afternoon, working back into the mix after spending the first 17 days of training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
    Conte had shoulder surgery over the winter and hasn’t practiced since December. He returns to the field with the hopes of earning back the starting role he has held down for the past two seasons.
    During Friday’s exhibition opener, Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray started at safety with the first-team defense.
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    Mundy contributed an interception on the game’s opening possession. Rookie Brock Vereen and veteran Adrian Wilson worked with the second-unit defense. But both have seen action with the first team at various points of camp.

    Fellow safety Craig Steltz also returned to practice Sunday. Like Conte, Steltz has been on the PUP list since camp began, still recovering from offseason groin surgery. His return bolsters the Bears depth at safety and on special teams.

    Conte is expected to speak with reporters after practice this evening.

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    Now we really have a lot of options at safety. This was one of our weakest positions last year, but after watching the safety play from Mundy, McCray, Vereen, and Wilson on Friday and getting back these two players, we've really got a strong competition and, regardless of who starts, should have some good play and some good depth.

    I'm really pleased with the work the front office did with safety and the D-line this year.
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    hopefully one is cut and the other is a backup to start the year.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I won't be surprised if Conte makes the team but I will be if they keep Steltz over McCray or Wilson. Steltz has always been a good STeams guy and he's around the ball a lot when he plays but his lack of speed and range has always been a problem. He never quite arrives in time in coverage. He's had a good run for a journeyman type backup but it's time to move on.
  4. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    I think Conte is gonna look good with Mundy next game
  5. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    We will be much better at safety than last year. At the very least, we will "suck less", but I actually am expecting some good S play. Right now, if I had to pick a weak spot, it might be LB. Although I liked what I saw from Briggs. I hope that the LB play goes from "ok" to very good before the season starts, and right now I have no reason to believe it won't improve. The question is how much.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  6. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'm gonna step out and call it now. Conte, Vereen, McCray, Mundy and Wilson will all make the team. Conte has the most experience playing FS and Wilson is proving he can still play and intimidate in the middle. The other three are all sound player who can start if needed and play STeams as well.

    We could see Conte and Mundy start or it could be Mundy and Wilson but somewhere out of those five they come up with starters and sub packages like Mundy and Wilson playing as "heavy" Safeties and those who don't start, with the exception of Wilson, will play on coverage teams. This is a lot better group than we had last year.
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  7. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Was Conte expected back this soon ?

    This is going to get interesting.

    We will now have 9000 players on the team ... and we have to cut it to 53.

    The next 3 games are going to get it done.

    Its sad that some of these guys are good players and will be thrown to the wolves.

    Theres not enough room on the taxi squad.

    We will lose some to other teams.

    Lets hope it doesnt bite us in our BEARS ass.
  8. dabears70

    dabears70 Veteran

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    Conte won't be playing in the next game. He'll be lucky to play in the 3rd game.
  9. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    Chris Conte keeping a list of naysayers

    August, 10, 2014
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte came off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday, and revealed he’s put together a list of his own in prepping to fight for one of the club’s two open spots at the position.

    Conte practiced for the first time Sunday since undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.

    “It feels good to be back playing football,” Conte said. “I’ve got a list. There’s a lot of things I want to do, and a lot of people I want to prove wrong. There’s a lot of goals I have, a lot of things that I’m looking forward to. But I’m taking it one day at a time.”

    Conte took repetitions with the first-, second- and third-team defense, with most of his snaps coming with the No.2s. Conte missed the club’s entire offseason conditioning program after undergoing shoulder surgery which also kept him out of organized team activities and minicamps.

    During that time and through the first 11 practices of training camp, players such as Danny McCray, rookie Brock Vereen, Adrian Wilson and Ryan Mundy may have leapfrogged Conte on the depth chart. But with the staff maintaining the position remains a wide open competition, Conte believes he’s returned in time to make a real push for a starting job.

    “I’m gonna do everything I can to get back on the field and that’s all I know,” Conte said.

    All he knew throughout the offseason, however, was intense criticism. Conte seemed to bear the brunt of the blame for the demise in 2013 of Chicago’s defense, which experienced a sharp decline from the previous season due to a combination of injuries and substandard play.

    Conte ranked third on the defense with 95 tackles, and tied for second with three interceptions. However, he experienced well-documented issues on the field, including playing the wrong coverage on a late fourth quarter Randall Cobb touchdown in the Bears’ Week 17 loss to theGreen Bay Packers that kept the team out of the postseason.

    “We’ve seen him play at a high level. We’ve seen him do very good things," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "He’s got to do it consistently. He’s got to know where to get lined up and the things we’re doing defensively. Certainly the athleticism is there to compete with anybody on the back end.”

    The play against Green Bay and Conte's subpar 2013 campaign led to “a lot of soul searching” in the offseason, he said, “a lot of time focusing on myself physically and mentally. It was a good time for me to get better in a lot of different areas. Hopefully I’m a better person and a better football player. I learned to keep people close to me that I care about and to always know the people that support me are the only people that really matter. I’m not even thinking about last season. I’m thinking about this year. I don’t even know what happened last season.”

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    Conte's return escalates competition in Bears' safety mix

    August 10, 2014, 8:15 pm
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    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – He has been something of a forgotten figure with all of the shuffling and evaluating going on at the far back end of the Bears defense. But on Sunday, after months of rehabbing back from offseason shoulder surgery, Chris Conte was back.

    Conte has been the Bears’ starting free safety for most of the last 2-1/2 seasons, paired most often with Major Wright, who is now with Lovie Smith and Tampa Bay. On Sunday Conte was in tandem with Adrian Wilson and the two were rotated in with the No. 1 defense, alternated with Danny McCray and Ryan Mundy, the starters last Friday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

    “It feels the same, but I’ve got a lot of confidence in the guys that I’m out there with,” Conte said, adding with a smile, “and it’s fun to go out there and play with a guy [Wilson] that’s been to [five] Pro Bowls.”

    Conte has been doing conditioning but he was visibly fatigued after he and a number of teammates from both offense and defense ran sprints after practice.

    He is more than aware of the venom directed at him after the final-game debacles in the loss to Green Bay in game 16. And the Bears used a fourth-round draft choice on a free safety in Brock Vereen.

    “I mean, I got a list of a lot of things I want to do and a lot of people I want to prove wrong,” Conte said. “There’s a lot of goals I have, a lot of things I’m looking forward to, but I’m taking it one day at a time.”

    So for that matter is cornerback Tim Jennings, also returning from an injury (quad) that caused him to miss a week of practice and the Philadelphia game. Jennings is not among those whom Conte needs to prove anything to.

    “With Chris, the talent is there,” Jennings said. “I like his athletic ability, man. Chris can get from hash to hash. He knows what he’s supposed to do. I like everything he brings to the defense. He’s a physical guy; he can make tackles in the open field. He’s just raw talent. And I just like what he brings to it and he can get hash to hash.

    “Me and Chris have been out here, even when we can’t practice. I can tell he’s hungry to get back out here. And it showed out here.”
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  10. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    next game he's available for* I hate mobile sometimes
  11. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    I think sometimes people forget he was a corner the majority of his career. Safety was essentially a new position when we drafted him. Sometimes there's a transition period, if he's comfortable with the defense his skillset could prove fun to watch.
  12. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    I would be happy with these 5. We don't need super duper stars in the secondary just decent solid players. I saw that D line even without Jared the opposing QB's will not have all day in the pocket that alone changes the dynamics of pass game completely. Ask Josh what it's like with a pass rush in your face constantly he didn't quit look like 108 QB passer rating of last year in that Tampa preseason game.
  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Hope Conte has a great year. With the safeties we now have, we could see our perennial weak spot (safety) become one of our strengths this year. We should end up with some quality depth too - something nice to have for a change.
  14. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    Conte had surgery pretty late so I don't know how early he's coming back but since our ST is so piss-poor I say keep Steltz at least for awhile.
  15. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    Bears get highlight interception from Conte’s practice No. 2
    August 11, 2014, 3:30 pm
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    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – It has been a long time coming and maybe for Chris Conte, this was the first big step back.
    Conte stepped in front of a wobbling underthrow by quarterback Jordan Palmer in the end zone on Monday, picked off the pass and ran the requisite yards into the other end zone, in this case more than 100 yards total and with many of the 4,000 fans giving him a warm ovation his entire way down the field. The last time Conte had a chance to intercept a pass, things didn’t go as well.

    That was in Week 17 against the Green Bay Packers and an Aaron Rodgers pass went through his hands in the fourth quarter, an interception that very likely would have altered the outcome of the game and season. That was followed by the breakdown that allowed Randall Cobb to streak by Conte for the game-winning touchdown.

    “I’m not even thinking about last season,” Conte said. “I’m thinking about this year. So I don’t even know what happened last season.”
    Conte’s interception was a highlight on his second practice back after offseason shoulder surgery and rehab. He has worked alongside Adrian Wilson in practice, playing with the No. 2 unit on Monday as Danny McCray and Ryan Mundy, the starters last Friday against Philadelphia, were paired most often with the No. 1 defense.

    No decision was announced on whether Conte would be part of the safety rotation this Thursday against Jacksonville. For now the plan has been to fold him into the changing mix of groupings, meaning that he is indeed being forced to re-earn the job he held for several years.

    “We’ll give him some reps, maybe not his full allotment of reps that he would normally get, and then we look to increase them as we go,” said defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. “So you saw him today, he got some reps. I think they were quality reps and he was where he was supposed to be and made a play. Then you evaluate him and then move on to the next day. That’s kind of how you handle that.

    “He’s been eager to get back out there and we’ve been eager to get him back. Right now it’s a matter of just the day to day work that needs to be put in on the field and the classroom. He’s already done that in the classroom and he’s stepped onto the field. We’re just going to take it one rep at a time. We think that’s the best approach.”

    Because of limitations that caused the organization to open camp with him on the PUP list, Conte’s work has been in film and playbook study this offseason. But a measure of it has been in the mirror as well.

    “A lot of soul searching,” Conte said. “A lot of time focusing on myself physically and mentally. It was a good time for me to get better in a lot of different areas. Hopefully I’m a better football person and a better football player.”
  16. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I still would not be surprised if Conte started the season on the PUP list. I do not see us keeping 5 safeties and they will not try to put Vereen on the Practice Squad as we would probably lose him to another team. Thus I could see giving Conte some time to builld up his strength after not working out this off-season and find a spot for him after wk 6, I think it would be.

    The kicker to this is Wilson, he may prefer to be cut if he does not get a starting job figuring he can find a job elsewhere. If Wilson either starts or decides to stay I see Conte on the PUP list.

    10 DLine 5DT, 5 DE
    6 LB
    6 CB
    4 S 26 Defense

    10 OL
    3 QB
    3 RB
    3 TE
    5 WR, KR 24 Offense

    1 LS
    1 P
    1 K 3 Special Teams

    Marquise Wilson and Conte look like PUP candidates to me

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