The Chicago Bears defense is the spoon that stirs the team’s drink.
With All-Pro and Pro Bowl players at key positions on all levels of the defense from linemen to linebackers, it’s safe to say that on paper, Marc Trestman took over a squad that isn’t lacking on the defensive side of the ball. The secondary, much like most other positions on the Bears’ defense, is somewhat set in stone with the wide side and middle linebacker positions being the ones with the most questions.
Chris Conte, the third-year man out of the University of California, will step into the 2013 training camp as the starting free safety opposite Major Wright. Much like the strong safety, Conte is a hard-hitting defensive back (to the tune of him being fined $21,000 in the 2012 season for hitting a defenseless player in the head).
For the Bears and Conte, everything looks to be in order for him to have another stellar season in Chicago, and unless the starting safety sustains a concussion, he will be on the field come opening day. Although he is a safety with a shelf life similar to modern NFL running backs, Conte is a bit of an iron man.
Last preseason, Conte separated his shoulder and despite an injury that would have sidelined a number of other players, he was on the field and in the starting lineup for the season opener. Conte fits the mold of Bears players of years gone by and in today’s NFL, that might work to the third-year safety’s advantage.