What, Another Chris Conte Thread????????? (It's Different)......

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Windy City Gridiron - Being who you thought we were since 2005!

    Chris Conte's Bad Year, and Why There's Hope in 2014

    By Steven Schweickert@SJS_illini on Jun 29 2014, 2:00p 69
    [​IMG]
    Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

    We take a numerical and statistical look into the awful seasons of Chris Conte and Major Wright to answer the question: Why was 2013 so bad?

    One of the things that's bothered me about the 2014 offseason is Chris Conte. I think we can all agree his 2013 season was one that the now-fourth-year safety would like to forget. The Bears' opponents ran roughshod all over the Bears defense, and a sprawling Chris Conte was often the afterimage of that play.
    But I thought we should take a bit of a look at the safety's play over his career and dig into the numbers a bit - and by numbers, I mean both his statistics, PFF's ratings, and just how many plays he was counted on in 2013.


     Tackles (PFR)Assists (PFR)Tackles (PFF)Assists (PFF)Missed Tackles (PFF)Overall RatingRun Rating
    201123726550.0-1.3
    2012521661710-2.0-3.6
    20137317761116-15.8-14.2
    So, a couple of things stand out from just these numbers alone...
    • In 2013, Conte was relied upon to make more plays than he was in 2012 and 2011. Per PFR and PFF's missed tackles, Conte was an attempted tackler in 106 plays compared to 78 in 2012.
    • In 2013, Conte was on an island for more plays than he was in 2012 and 2011 (per PFR, his assisted tackles hardly nudged, and per PFF, his assists increased, but not in proper proportion to his tackles).
    • The drop in his run-stopping PFF rating between 2012 and 2013 makes the Marianas Trench seem like Mount Everest.
    Looking at just Conte here, you'd certainly agree that Conte was awful in 2013. Let's quickly look at his companion in the backfield - Major Wright, the league's worst-rated safety last season and no-longer-a-Bear.
     Tackles (PFR)Assists (PFR)Tackles (PFF)Assists (PFF)Missed Tackles (PFF)Overall RatingRun Rating
    201017425  -1.60.9
    201141165276-3.00.6
    201252196117105.12.9
    20137922921515-27.6-15.5
    Okay, I misspoke. That drop makes Chris Conte's drop look laughably small.
    • So the first point, in 2012, Wright was involved in 81 plays per PFR (PFR tackles/assists plus PFF missed tackles) and 88 plays in 2013 per PFF. In 2013, those numbers spiked to 116 per PFR and 122 per PFF.
    • Major Wright experienced a 30-rating point drop in 2013, including an 18-point drop in stopping the run.
    Does that sound familiar to Conte? It really should.
    There's a couple of possible explanations for this.
    • Chris Conte and Major Wright were completely exposed as poor football players. But while both had terrible 2013 seasons, Conte was only slightly negative over his career to point (which is a small sample size), and Wright was coming off a positively-rated season, including a positive grade against the run. And the safety position, especially in space, can experience many difficulties when facing up a running back with a full head of steam. And both players were expected to make more plays; with PFF's rating system being more quantity-related, this can correlate.
    • One could also easily turn to defensive coordinator Mel Tucker; after all, his resume isn't a very statistically-impressive one, working with a new roster and asking players to do things they aren't capable of. However, it's one thing to draw up a play, and another to get those players to execute that play when on the field.
    • So, the question next turns to quality of play up front and the plays made there. Next, let's take a look at the defensive fronts between 2012 and 2013.
    2012Tackles (PFR)Assists (PFR)Tackles (PFF)Assists (PFF)Missed Tackles (PFF)StopsOverall RatingRun Rating
    Henry Melton311232712915.8-1.5
    Stephen Paea13111563141.7-4.1
    Julius Peppers3272421309.90.2
    Israel Idonije291927623017.87.5
    Lance Briggs7429851694612.12.0
    Brian Urlacher53156191034-11.3-13.6
    Nick Roach51154911628-2.5-1.7
    2013Tackles (PFR)Assists (PFR)Tackles (PFF)Assists (PFF)Missed Tackles (PFF)StopsOverall RatingRun Rating
    Landon Cohen86132110-11.8-13.3
    Stephen Paea1112227418-2.4-4.5
    Julius Peppers3114305526-4.3-2.7
    Shea McClellin1416134714-28.2-19.2
    Lance Briggs5120571018350.53.0
    Jon Bostic45124517830-16.9-15.5
    James Anderson85178513940-16.5-23.1
    Khaseem Greene217245312-9.6-6.8
    Jeremiah Ratliff727326-2.50.4
    Corey Wootton287244 21-5.4-0.2
    David Bass15811669-7.8-2.0
    DJ Williams198227514-3.1-3.0
    That's a lot of defensive players for the Bears' front seven in 2013. There was a lot of dependency on youth and backups last season after the injuries that claimed D.J. Williams', Henry Melton's and Nate Collins' seasons, along with losing Lance Briggs for a time.

    The four main numbers to look at in there are Landon Cohen's -13.3 against the run, Shea McClellin's -19.2, James Anderson's -23.1, and Jon Bostic's -15.5. Khaseem Greene's -6.8 isn't particularly palatable either, given the sample size of his play. But something else to note is that aside from Israel Idonije in 2012, nobody was particularly effective against the run either - but not double-digit negative trainwrecks.

    This isn't much new information, but it does somewhat confirm what we've thought - that awful play up front makes everything harder for the defensive backs. In the run game, that's manifested in not being able to hold gaps and reduce running room for a safety to come in and clean up. The fact that so many more plays made it to the safeties is pretty damning in and of itself.

    This isn't a defense of Chris Conte, Superstar. Conte is a guy that, against the run, can make the play in front of him, and not the plays breaking around him in space. The problem in 2013 was so many more plays being made unrestrained - no backs being funneled into other tacklers, no gaps being closed.

    Defensive linemen were overwhelmed, linebackers were washed out, and backs were free into the second level.

    This doesn't absolve Chris Conte and Major Wright of their terrible seasons. But given both played closer to neutral or positive (in Wright's case) in 2012 indicates both play better with a better, more consistent against the run front seven. That's why the Bears went out and signed Lamarr Houston (+14.9 against the run in 2014) to provide a steady presence against the run on the other side - the old Israel Idonije role. But they need steps up from the other contributors on that defense as well.

    In short, couple a bad year for injuries, neutral at best run-stoppers with a couple of disasters, and a new defensive coordinator with not much statistical success, and it can easily turn a neutral-to-negative safety into trouble. Next year, maybe it's a different story.
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  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    From our friends at WCG comes this very well done nugget. Great analysis. Guess I need to spend some serious time digesting this one and so should we all since it pretty much shows how much the ENTIRE F'n defense tanked. Should be pretty easy to see who "bought in" and who didn't too.

    More commentary to come........of course. :smilebig:
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    We've talked about guys on that defense who didn't "buy in" to the new regime and IMHO these analytics from PFF give a pretty good indication of the guilty parties and from what I can see at least Chris Conte wasn't one of them. Not only was he victimized by some of his own mistakes and the pathetic play of the DL and LBs but his playing partner pretty much left him stranded too. The drop off in Wrights play was incredible.

    I recall saying last year that because his contract wasn't extended he played like a guy who was doing everything he could not to get injured and jeopardize his value as a FA. I think his PFF stats confirm that and although he had to take a one year deal for short money now he's where he wants to be, back with Lovie again. I expect he'll be playing better down in TB this year than he did in Chicago last year. I mean how could he not right?

    The other very obvious "smoking gun" on that list has to be Peppers. He had a 14 point plus drop in his overall play between 2012 and 2013 and I'm not buying into he got older thing. He's better than that. He's another guy who realized he probably wasn't coming back with the cap cost he was carrying. So he tells Chicagoland that's he's slowing down a bit but all of sudden in GB he's located that fountain of youth. Bull shit. I've lived in GB and there is no fountain of youth. Just more bars per capita than any other city on the planet and last time I checked PBR has no life extending properties.

    Other than that we might excuse guys like Briggs or Paea who played injured most of the year yet played at least close to his previous level. It's also clear we missed Izzy but now Houston and Young have more than made up for that. Overall the LB grades are miserable. I guess we can at least cut the rookies a little slack but a vet like Anderson? No way! Anyway you cut it that was a pretty bad situation to be in. Conte was pretty much like the last guy standing at The Battle of the Little Big Horn and that guy didn't stand much of a chance either.
  4. DavidL

    DavidL Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    The 2013 stats confirm one thing I had believed. McClellin was the worst of the worst -- overall rating -28.2.
  5. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Are we talking revamp ? What did we come away with since the Superbowl we wernt in ?

    I think we came away with alot.
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  6. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    IMHO
    Peppers just loafed his way through most of the season. He's not the player he was in his late 20s but he's still better than what we saw last season.

    Wright was a Lovie apologist who was coming off a decent year in 2012. But...he's still a dipshit who repeatedly takes bad angles and misses make-able tackles. I'm sure he will play a little better this season in Tampa (how could he not?) but he's still a C- player at best so no loss and not worth a post-rookie contract for us.
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  7. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    Yep, I agree completely with everything said up here.

    The matter of Conte has been beaten into the ground. Media and fans alike were disgusted at the entire defensive unit and wanted to single out something/someone to blame. Conte took that role because he was often around the ball and was highlighted missing plays that should be made. It's easier for these broadcasting network to highlight a missed tackle than a DT getting driven 8 yards off the ball or a LB running the wrong alley. Too hard to explain that kinda stuff to the "casual fan." It's much easier just to point out Conte didn't bail out the other 10 guys.
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  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    This is what really pissed me off about Pep last year and I never thought I'd find myself saying it about him of all people. The tip off to me were the couple of games (the Minny game being one) where he told Emery and Trestman to "watch me out there today", or something like that, and then went out and became his old dominating self. To me that's just plain bogus and manipulative.

    I can abide by an aging player taking some plays off. They all do it. But taking off whole games or entire parts of a season just playing well enough that no one can claim you've had it and are over the hill......nah. To me he was just another guy trying to protect his body and enough of his rep to get a deal elsewhere because he knew he was gonna have to take a major pay cut to stay and in all honesty once Lovie was canned Pep wanted out anyway.

    If TB hadn't signed Johnson I'm sure that's where he'd have headed and going to GB was just another way to stick it to Emery twice a year. I doubt he'll be much more effective there than he was for us last year but in two games he'll do whatever he can to become that beast of old and create some havoc. Those are two games we need to scheme for both Pep and Matthews because I'm sure they're gonna let both loose on Cutler. With the passing game we have now it's their best chance to beat us.

    Wright was simply protecting his body all year long and allowing Conte to clean up the mess back there as best he could. He's another guy who wanted out to sample FA but instead of elevating his play his caution cost us games and him any shot at all that he had at a bigger better deal. Not too smart on his part and I say good riddance because I hate stupid lazy players. We're far better off with Mundy and even with Vereen starting if that's what it comes to and right now I'll take Jared Allen and his attitude and leadership over Pep any day.
  9. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Grizz this is a blue ribbon post brother and exactly the response I was hoping I'd get fr0m posters after they read it. All Steve Schweickert was trying to point out with his analysis was just how foolish it is to blame Conte for his issues when the entire defense collapsed in front of him. No one wants to play "last man standing" in that situation but he did and he did it as well as could be expected under those circumstances.

    We have beaten the Conte thing to death, I know, but prior to this I'd yet to find any article with an analysis which the "casual fan" should be able to read and understand if they took the time to do it. Conte was just one "bad apple" in a barrel of bad apples and not even the worst one. We should also realize that even one bad apple in a barrel can make the rest of the apples go just as bad. These PFF metrics pretty much show that's what happened.

    The silver lining in all of this is that if I'm Chris Conte I'd be madder than a wet hornet this year and out to prove that last year is not gonna be the defining season of my career. Add that motivation and super charge it with some very good competition for his job coming from Brock Vereen and we'll see how he reacts to that on the field. I really like the battle that's forming up back there. Just some improvement from Conte over his 2012 season would have been nice but it seems to me that there's a good chance it'll be a whole lot more than just that now.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  10. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Veteran

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    Kind of summed up what I've been saying all off season!
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  11. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Yep. Again, not saying Conte didn't have a rough year, he did, but who on that defense wasn't worse or hurt or both? Jennings was the one who was clearly better and healthy. Everyone else sucked, got injured, or both.
  12. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    As long as this is a different thread about Birdboy, just to be different, we shouldn't bash his play here. Maybe we should bash his twitter comments...

    https://twitter.com/ChrisConte47


    [​IMG] Chris Conte@ChrisConte47
    Just watched the rerun of Football Life about the 85 Bears... maybe I should change to #45 to honor Fencik.

    ... maybe you should change to #0 to honor the number of playoff wins you've achieved.


    [​IMG]Chris Conte @ChrisConte47 · May 8
    Draft day... wonder which Safety will be signed to be my back-up ;)

    Draft day...wonder which Safeties will be signed to be the starters. :-O


    [​IMG] Chris Conte@ChrisConte47
    Ah, who needs a shoulder to make tackles ;)

    Ah, both of yours weren't enough when they were healthy.
  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well Vereen is already wearing #45 so it looks like he's the one who'll honoring Fencik. He put a wink after the "back up" remark so I'm thinking he was investing in a little black humor there. He knows he's on the bubble big time after last year and this year he's playing for a contract somewhere so I can't help but thinking he'll be far better. But just in case we do have Vereen so I'm content so far.
  14. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    I said all last year that Conte was getting the hate that the front 7 deserved. He was more noticeable because he was the one person between the player and the goal line.

    Kinda like blaming wooden toll gates for not stopping cars who didn't ever slow down.
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  15. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Easier to hate on one guy than 7 JD especially when the media was so used to doing it with Cutler and ignoring the OL and WRs. I guess Conte has taken over for Jay this offseason. :rock:
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  16. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    The front 7 didn't cause Conte to take bad angles. They didn't cause him to grab on and get dragged along for 10 yards. They didn't cause him to miss tackles. Heck, he can't even make a pile of leaves with a rake.

    [​IMG]

    I understand and agree that the front 7 made his job harder but IMO the guy is not good regardless of what the front 7 was doing. So I will continue to bash him and his twitter until he proves me wrong. I hope he does.
  17. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Fair enough but until last year he was improving and possibly a guy we could live with until better came along and I believe it has. I don't think Vereen is quite ready to take over back there just yet but soon. In the meantime he should push Conte hard for that spot and I can't see anything but good coming from that.
  18. okay

    okay Rookie

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    Cmon man can it be any more obvious that this is a fake account? His profile picture is a picture of him trailing a WR by 5 yards, the background picture on Twitter is him with a pick going straight through his hands.
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  19. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Never paid enough attention to it to even notice okay because it doesn't make any difference to me whether it was fake of real. My impressions of Chris Conte have already been formed and all that will change them is what he does on the field this year. Last year is ancient history.

    My points all along have been that in 2013 Conte was just one bad cog in a very broken machine. Comparatively speaking he wasn't any worse than the rest and better than some. So with me his slate is clean.
  20. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    Awww you caught it. Ohwell, itwas fun while it lasted. There are several parody twitter accounts but i could not find his real one. I feel sorry for the tv reporter with the same name who got a lot of grief on his twitter after that last game.

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