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Conte aims to take game to next level

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 29, 2013 – 5:25 pm

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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Conte vows to return for opener

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 21, 2012 – 4:57 pm

Chris Conte isn’t sure when he’ll return from the shoulder injury he suffered in Saturday night’s win over the Redskins. But the Bears safety expects to be back before the Sept. 9 season opener against the Colts.

“It’s not a big deal,” Conte told reporters Tuesday at Halas Hall. “I don’t plan on missing any regular season games, but it’s [frustrating because] preseason was going well and you want to keep on getting better and playing in the preseason. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”

Conte was injured in the second quarter while making a routine tackle on Washington running back Evan Royster. The 2011 third-round pick from California exited after registering three tackles.

“It’s a day-to-day thing,” Conte said. “Just as long as I have range of motion and strength, I should be good.”

In other news Tuesday, the Bears waived/injured defensive tackle DeMario Pressley. Pressley signed with the Bears in May after appearing in eight games with the Saints (2009) and Panthers (2011), recording 20 tackles.

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Wright feels his teammates’ pain

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 21, 2012 – 2:54 pm

Having been slowed by injuries since he entered the NFL, Major Wright can empathize with fellow safeties Chris Conte and Brandon Hardin after both were hurt in Saturday night’s preseason win over the Redskins.

“That’s always frustrating,” Wright said Tuesday at Halas Hall. “I dealt with it for two years. It’s something that you’ve just got to deal with, put in your past and just build on whatever you’ve got going on. Things happen. You’ve got to get over it and come back stronger.”

Wright has had trouble staying healthy since he joined the Bears in 2010 as a third-round pick, missing five games as a rookie with a pulled hamstring and four contests last year due to neck, hip and shoulder injuries.

“You can’t let it affect how you play,” Wright said. “This is the game you’ve been playing for how many years—for me all my life—and I can’t change the way I’ve been doing things all my life.”

With the status of Conte (shoulder) and Hardin (neck) uncertain, it appears that Wright could be teaming with versatile five-year veteran Craig Steltz at the safety position with the No. 1 defense.

“It’s always next man up,” Wright said. “Every man has got to be ready to play at any time.

“Craig is a vet. He’s one of the older guys in the room. Everybody looks up to him because he’s been in this defense for so many years. It’s good. We both communicate. We feel like we’re on the same page in every defense.”

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