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Bears safety Chris Conte ready after off year, offseason

Bears' Chris Conte intercepts first ball thrown during 2013 Bears' training camp Friday morning Bourbonnais. | Michael R. Schmidt~ For

Bears' Chris Conte intercepts the first ball thrown during the 2013 Bears' training camp Friday morning in Bourbonnais. | Michael R. Schmidt~ For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 12, 2014 6:28AM



BOURBONNAIS — After rehabbing his right shoulder and some self-described soul-searching in the offseason, Bears safety Chris Conte came up with a list.

“It’s a lot of things that I want to do, a lot of people I want to prove wrong,” Conte said.

“So there’s a lot of goals I have, a lot of things I’m looking forward to.”

Conte practiced with his teammates for the first time Sunday since undergoing surgery in late March for a lingering issue that hampered him in 2013.

The Bears wasted little time in adding him to their wide-open safety competition.

Conte participated in team drills with the No. 2 defense, ­seeing some snaps with veteran Adrian Wilson.

“I guess I’m somewhat limited,” Conte said. “They are kind of ­easing me back into it, and hopefully I’ll get back on the field as soon as I can in games.”

Conte’s confidence has been questioned after a tough season that ended on a dismal note when the Green Bay Packers exploited a blown assignment in the season finale to earn the NFC North’s playoff berth.

How would Conte sum up his offseason?

“A lot of soul-searching,” Conte said. “A lot of time focusing on myself, both physically and mentally. It was a good time for me to get better in a lot of different areas.

‘‘Hopefully, I’m a better person and a better football player.

“I learned to keep people close to me that I care about and always know that the people that support me are the only people that really matter.”

With 40 starts in three seasons, Conte remains a formidable contender in a safety competition that he said is filled with “a lot of good guys.”

“I want to be better than I was and help this team win a championship,” he said.



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