Could Conte and Wright be the next Fencik and Duerson?

2013 Combined stats for (FS)Chris Conte and (SS)Major Wright

Chris Conte Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Major Wright Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

 

Games started       31

Total tackles         139

Interceptions         6

Passes defended    17

 

It has been a long time since the Bears have felt this good about the safety position.  Don’t get me wrong, Mike Brown is one of my favorite all time Bears. But not being able to complete a 16 game season from 2004-2008 didn’t necessarily help solidify his position.

Chris Conte, coming off a solid sophomore year, and Major Wright just being a three year vet, has to have Mel Tucker and Marc Trestman drooling over the amount of potential for the foreseeable future. Young, smart, ball hawking, and not afraid to sacrifice their bodies – Conte and Wright have potential to be the best safety duo the Bears have had since Gary Fencik and Dave Duerson.  Yeah, I wrote that. Let that thought soak deep into your mind as you reminisce about the fear Phil Simms must have felt as he dropped back to pass.  O.K., Simms was probably more worried about Dent and Hampton, but you get the picture.  Even when he did get to sling it 30 yards down field he knew in his mind that the better option was throwing to the sidelines.

Backup Plan:

Craig Steltz, only completing his fifth season, has worked his way into a leadership role. Never letting his head hang down as he lost the competition for a starting spot, instead, the Steltz Bomber embraced his role on special teams (11 tackles, 1 forced fumble). Steltz may not be the best safety in the NFL, or the Bears, but his ability to lead and push youngsters Conte and Wright may not only give him favor with Mel Tucker, but with new specials coach Joe DeCamillis.

Free Agency:

Too Expensive:  Glover Quin (Houston) – Jairus Byrd (Buffalo) – Dashon Goldson (49ers)  Any one of these three safeties has the ability to start on almost any team they choose.  The Bears will not break the bank for a new safety.  Or should they?

Too Injured:  William Moore (Falcons) – Louis Delmas (Lions)  Again, either of these safeties could come in and compete with Conte and Wright from day one.  The question then becomes – would Delmas or Moore’s contract be justified knowing their last snap could come at any moment?

Too old:  Ronde Barber (Buccs) – Ed Reed (Ravens)  As much as I want to tell you that Reed doesn’t have much left in the tank.  As much as I want to tell you there is no way someone that turns 35 in September is ready to play safety for the Bears.  As much as I want to, I can’t, and here is why… Ronde Barber is almost 38.  Ronde Barber played as well as any safety in the NFC during the 2012 campaign.  Would this justify the Bears bringing in Reed to finish his career as a Monster of the Midway?

 

Am I drinking too much Kool-aid? …I like my orange Kool-aid with a splash of grape.  What do you think? Do we need an upgrade via free agency or draft, or are we solidified?  By the way, registering and commenting just got easier for beardownblog.net!

 

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Chester Church

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