Entering his third season with the Bears, safety Chris Conte knows that the Bears are counting on him to continue to develop and improve his game.
“As a player, I think more is expected of me this year,” Conte said. “I’m more of a veteran guy. I have to be a little bit more responsible, have it together on the field and be prepared and kind of help the younger guys out.”
Selected in the third round of the 2011 draft out of California, Conte appeared in 14 games with nine starts as a rookie, recording 47 tackles and one interception. The 6-2, 203-pounder started all 15 contests he played last season, compiling 86 tackles and two interceptions.
While expectations are high for Conte, the only pressure he’s feeling is internal.
“I’m putting the pressure on myself,” Conte said. “I want to be the best player that I can be, and I want to take my game to that next level. So I don’t feel added pressure from anyone but myself. I want to be the best I can be, and I think I have a lot of potential and I want to make that happen.”
Conte is enjoying playing for first-year coach Marc Trestman, whose expertise is on the offensive side of the ball, unlike predecessor Lovie Smith, Conte’s coach in his first two seasons.
“It’s a little different just because Lovie was so invested [in the defense],” Conte said. “It was his defense. But [Trestman] spends a lot of time with us. He comes over and makes sure things are going well and things are the way he wants it. He has a hand in everything that is going on.”
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