LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman isn’t ready to jerk struggling safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright from the starting lineup, and made it clear Monday he hasn’t even considered such a move.
The duo entered the season with lofty expectations after a 2012 campaign in which they helped the Bears rank No. 2 in opponent passer rating (71.3), and a 69.8 rating in the 15 games they started together. Wright and Conte haven’t achieved similar success through the first seven games of 2013, but several circumstances induced by injuries (such as the front four’s lack of a consistent pass rush and the team’s inability to stop the run) have contributed.
Asked if Conte and Wright have been letting down the team, Trestman said: “I don’t think that is the case. I think that our performance in all places isn’t where we need it to be,” before adding he hasn’t “considered anything like (making a change in the starting lineup at safety).”
Conte received negative recognition on Pro Football Focus’ “Had a Bad Day Team” for his performance during Chicago’s 45-41 loss at Washington, while Wright received “Dishonorable Mention” at the safety position on that team. Each contributed eight tackles apiece in the loss, but played major roles in Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III ripping the Bears for 298 yards through the air and a pair of touchdowns as he finished with a passer rating of 105.2.
The Redskins gained 20 yards or more on seven snaps on offense with Griffin completing four passes for gains of 26 yards or more, including three completions of 30-plus yards.
Griffin completed 3-of-3 for 100 yards, a touchdown and a passer rating of 145.1 on throws directed toward Conte in coverage and quarterbacks have completed 68.8 percent of their throws against the safety, according to Pro Football Focus. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 77.8 percent of their passes directed towards Wright in coverage for a passer rating of 135.2.
Still, Trestman isn’t placing the blame on the safeties, largely because of all the factors that have contributed to their slide this season.
“I would say we are going with the guys we have at the present time (as the starters), and that would be obviously Major and Chris,” Trestman said.