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Marc Trestman: Bears safety Chris Conte ‘has the ability to be a starter’
Marc Trestman has texted Chris Conte all offseason and met with him in person last week.
The Bears coach said Wednesday that the embattled safety has a chance to start — and shine — again after a season where, Trestman said, he didn’t play to the level of an NFL starter.
“I like Chris,” he said at the NFL owner’s meetings in Orlando, “because I know he loves football and I know he wants to work to be a good player. I know he’s a good teammate.
“I watched him during the season. We’re going to do everything we can to help him get back on his feet, so to speak, and move forward.
“Players have done it before. He’s going to be in a position to compete for a position as safety on our football team. We’re going to give him the opportunity to do that.”
Conte infamously played the wrong coverage on Aaron Rodgers’ 47-yard touchdown pass in the waning minutes of the season finale.
“Right now, I think he’s in a position where he is confident and willing to move forward — and he knows he didn’t play at the level he needs to be a starter in the National Football League, but he has the ability to be a starter.
“As I said to him: I’ve seen him on tape be a physical tackler. I have seen him on tape close and run to the football with speed. I have seen him on tape do the right things.
“We saw it in ’12 and we didn’t see it much in ’13 — and we want to get him to a place where he can be more consistent.”