No safety did anything to ‘wow’ the coaching staff in the first two preseason games, and that had to be music to Chris Conte’s ears, as the maligned safety made his first game appearance on Friday night in Seattle.
On his first series, Conte came over from his safety spot, lowered his shoulder and leveled a huge hit on tight end Luke Willson, breaking up a would-be touchdown pass.
Conte showed off the speed the next series, flying over from center field to apply another physical tackle on Cooper Helfet, stopping him in the open field.
It wasn't all positive for Conte, who missed a third-quarter tackle and then left the game and was diagnosed with a concussion.
The problem is that Conte was one of the only bright spots on defense. Willie Young was the other, showing a great burst off the edge on a sack in the first quarter, and he also set the edge on a run stop in the red zone in the second, but that’s about it.
The Seahawks scored 31 points in the first quarter and gained 250 total yards. Russell Wilson completed 13-of-17 passes for 174 yards, good for a passer rating of 147.7, picking apart the Bears’ defense by moving outside the pocket and finding the open receiver. That helped the Seahawks convert all seven of the third downs prior to halftime.
It’s been a recurring issue we’ve seen from the Bears’ defense this preseason – defending misdirection plays, like bootlegs, and the Bears face four mobile quarterbacks in their first five regular-season games.
No improvement on special teams: The coverage teams are supposed to be the Bears’ strength on a rebuilt special teams unit, but they gave up a 46-yard kickoff return to Percy Harvin and a 46-yard punt return to Earl Thomas. The return game has yielded no answers, and may not until Chris Williams plays – he was a late scratch, and the longest kickoff return in the first half went to undrafted rookie Senorise Perry, who went 27 yards.
Flags keep flying: Marc Trestman has not been happy about the penalties this preseason, and the Bears had three bad ones in the first half from veterans. Lance Briggs’ late hit penalty on Russell Wilson — it would have been a third-and-15, instead, the Seahawks got a first down. On third-and-four, Jeremiah Ratliff jumped offsides, and Brandon Marshall’s offensive pass interference wiped out a Dante Rosario touchdown.
Quick hits: Jared Allen (shoulder bruise), Brian de la Puente (knee), Jordan Mills (foot), Kyle Fuller (ankle), Eben Britton (hamstring) and Isaiah Frey (hamstring) did not play. … Ryan Mundy left the game with a head laceration, his return was initially listed as questionable. Fullback Tony Fiammetta, who played in 20.8 percent of snaps last season, left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return. … Josh Morgan opened as the No. 3 receiver and had two catches for 40 yards in the first half, including a nice back-shoulder catch.