Chicago Bears: Safety Problem a Thing of the Past with Wright and Conte Starting
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The one weakness on the Bears defense that has been a question mark since Lovie Smith's arrival has been the safety position. The Bears have drafted a new safety each of the eight seasons that Smith has been the head coach. The revolving door at safety has been a sore spot, but it now appears the Bears have settled in with a solid starting duo.
Second-year player Chris Conte is settling in at the free safety spot, while third-year man Major Wright is starting to hit his stride at strong safety. The stability of the safety position has allowed the Bears to become more aggressive up front, and with how they disguise their coverages.
The Bears are often rotating Major Wright down into the box to show a Cover-1 or Cover-3 look, and have blitzed Wright out of this look. Both Wright and Conte have come up with an interception this season, showing off their ability in coverage.
The true stat that represents how good the starting tandem of Wright and Conte is is the opposing QB rating when these two are together. According to the Chicago Bears' weekly stats pack, opposing QBs have a 65.4 passer rating when Conte and Wright start together. In total, Wright and Conte have allowed just six touchdowns to 14 interceptions.
Over the last two seasons, Wright and Conte have combined for six interceptions while starting together.
Major Wright has definitely shown improvement in his run defense, racking up 18 total tackles with 15 solo tackles through the first three games of the season. Last year Wright struggled in run support, taking bad angles to the football and missing tackles he should have otherwise made.
If these two continue to play at a high level this season, they then settle into becoming an integral part of a young defense. The Bears have a solid group of young players on defense that are contributing to a resurgence in defensive consistency.
Henry Melton, Stephen Paea, Amobi Okoye, Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin, combined with Conte and Wright, have led to a resurgence in the Bears pass defense. The Bears currently rank sixth overall in pass defense, where as last year the Bears struggled against some of the best passing attacks in the NFL last year and finished 28th.
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