“Phasing Out” Chris Conte

May 6th, 2018

Can’t escape the hate.

Good morning!

And for many Bucs fans, the following may make their morning good.

Few things trigger quite a few Bucs fans more than ConteHate, which is the visceral reaction these fans exhibit at the mere mention of Bucs safety Chris Conte. For whatever reason, Conte drives folks bananas.

So in a column by Chris Roling of Bleacher Report on how each team’s draft class can be successful, Roling took aim at the Bucs’ rookie defensive backs and suggested their success will depend on how quickly Conte loses playing time.

The Buccaneers quietly doubled up on cornerbacks with two more second-round picks, grabbing M.J. Stewart out of North Carolina and Carlton Davis from Auburn. The former looks like he could double as a safety if asked, and the latter is a lanky boundary guy with star potential, so the need here is for both to find their best assignment and make the most of it to enable Tampa Bay to start phasing out secondary members like Chris Conte.

Joe honestly doesn’t know if this is bad or good. Is it good if the rookie defensive backs are playing right away? Would that suggest they are playing above the rim and developed better and quicker than the Bucs expected?

It is not like Conte is Sabby the Goat, folks.

54 Responses to ““Phasing Out” Chris Conte”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    I suspect the ConteHate thing is media driven Joe, much like the AuntGeraldine thing and the Jameis, America’s QB thing. Add in a few vocal commenters here & there, and presto, Chris Conte becomes a focus of attention … in a negative way.

    Chris isn’t a superstar but he’s not a slug either. In his 7 seasons (4 with Chicago, 3 with Bucs) he’s played in 101 games (average 14.5 per season) & started in 90 of those (90% starting isn’t that shabby). Has 14 INTs (2 per season average), 7 forced fumbles, 353 tackles (50 per season average) plus 96 assists. There’s a fascinating analysis of Chris’ first 6 years compared to various big-name safeties (Eric Reid, John Lynch, etc) at http://www.whatthebuc.net/2017/08/01/just-how-good-is-chris-conte/ and guess what … Conte more than holds his own with the big boys. The grass really isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

  2. Seattle Buc Says:

    Defense rules, nice link. Chris is also durable. He doesn’t get hurt. I thought Tandy was going to supplant Chris after his 2016 season w 4 pics And 10 pdf. If our defense turns the corner with these new acquisitions and we can finally line up and run the ball consistently this team will be a force.

  3. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Conte is one of the few players that Lovie brought in that was a worthwhile addition. He had a history of injuries as a Bear. But he has been durable and
    good enough. Biggest drawback for him is that he doesn’t have elite speed.
    At some point somebody will come along and replace him,but in the meantime we got a solid player.

  4. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I agree with D Rules…think it’s media driven stuff on Conte. I also think it’s time the America’s QB thing, which hasn’t taken anywhere, get “retired.” Conte has been an important part of a bad pass D, and I think he has been minimally effective. Not a stud, not the worst. Conte is definitely no Sabby, though. For the rookie DBs, I don’t expect them to step into a full starting role at CB and do well, though I’d say odds are even that at least one new CB manages to find a way to start. Ideally, VHIII steps it up and gets pulled from the nickel back position and plays where he was intended, and the new guys improve to where they can rotate into the mix as Grimes ages more this year–while mentoring. But with Evans, Conte, and Tandy at S, and with an improved pass rush we all expect, I think improvement in the back will be evident right away, even if the same group of S’s remain. I do agree with the “phase out” term over “throw out” when it comes to Conte.

  5. Bird Says:

    I like the “above the rim” reference

  6. Bird Says:

    I think conte is fine Gets a bad rap.

    However, if those guys mentioned above are starting and/or whitehead /iguebeke then that means we drafted well for our system and these kids came hungry and ready to ball

    Remember , Raheem Morris” youngry”. That team was more “yitty”

  7. teacherman777 Says:

    I am rewatching all our games on NFL Gamepass

    Conte has not been the problem!

    Our d-line was sooooo pathetic last year!

    Our DB’s had to cover people for 5 seconds!

  8. richbucsfan Says:

    Lots of conjecture and unfounded opinion in today’s articles. Not sure what that is all about.

  9. EasyTheGreat Says:

    The Conte hate is absurd

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How can these newly drafted DBs develop with our awful coaching (Joe once said)

  11. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Joe in your podcast a week or so ago you mentioned something like “let the best players play.” That is exactly what this team needs to do. It should not matter if you have a big contract, or where you were drafted, or how old you are. Just let them compete and choose the best player. Not sure they have always followed that philosophy, but they need to.

  12. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    Conte is our most experienced safety along with K. Tandy. I don’t see Conte taking a back seat unless one of those rookies plays lights out during TC, and even then I think Tandy’s job would be in jeopardy first.

  13. Trench War Says:


    Well, if any of our rookie DB’s can’t be developed by the staff we could try them out at punter

  14. @Hands2theface Says:

    I have a Sabby autographed mini helmet…not sure if it’s worthless or a cult legend. I also have a Tanard Jackson one as well…legends, in b-movie kinda way.

  15. SCBucsFan Says:

    It’s not Conte hate on this board, it’s Buc hate. Which boggles my mind. If you hate this team so much why come to this site?

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t think they will start right away. Remember, we don’t know yet if the picks will work out. They will have to shine brightly to get a starting nod in the first game. They also have to learn the playbook and acclimate to the NFL and their teammates on the field.

    But if they are good enough over time, I expect Conte to slowly be phased out over the season. He did, after all, sign only a 1 year deal. Right? Or was it two?

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t think it is media driven hate at all. I think it is driven by fairweather trolls.

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Hands2theface Says
    “I have a Sabby autographed mini helmet…not sure if it’s worthless or a cult legend. I also have a Tanard Jackson one as well…legends, in b-movie kinda way.”

    I would say it depends on why you got them signed and collected them. Did you get them for potential profit or because you are a Buc fan and want to put them on display?

    I have a box full of Bucs stuff that I bought when they won the superbowl. Newspapers and everything. My dream is for my sons to get their own places so I can finally have a man cave, lol.

  19. m0j0 Says:

    While I agree with most others that Conte wasn’t specifically the problem, I do think it would be a sign of progress if one of the rookies could come in and take playing time away from him, much like Evans did last year.

  20. lambchop Says:

    Apart from a horrible DL, why is Conte more often than not in a bad position to make plays? He gets fooled on double moves, etc. He may not be the problem, but I’m pretty sure we can get more talented at the position. He’s adequate in run support and crossing routes but he’s a liability on passing plays more than 20 yards. And this was a recurring theme even before last years horrible line play. Even if he gets beat on a play, I never see him recover and make a play down field. That’s the biggest problem. He’s fairly slow to react.

  21. AlteredEgo Says:

    It’ll all sake out in TC….that said I think Conte has a spot on this years roster

  22. Kobe Faker Says:

    The reason smitty has Conte on the field is because as the last line to defend from scoring, smitty TRUSTS Conte will tackle the opponent

    Let me say this nicely. JUSTIN EVANS S**KS. Smitty knows this. Evans gets exposed in coverage and cant tackle if his life depended on it

    Kobe Faker

  23. K2 Says:

    Competition it good and a good D-Line will help. I see a lot of reason to be positive. Another point, is now we will find out if the coaches can coach.

  24. Pryda ...sec147 Says:

    Conte sucks !!!

  25. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I want to know what it is that makes Joe defend players who are on average sub-par players not named Doug Martin.

    Conte has made exactly 2 good plays in his entire tenure as a Buc, and apart from that has been pretty garbage.
    Where exactly did Joe issue some sort of firm defense of Conte? Secondly, Martin was at the league’s rock bottom for two seasons. Big difference. –Joe

  26. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Kobe, you’re a weird freakin cat dude. Justin Evans played pretty well for a rookie last season, and in the 2nd half of 2017 tackled far better and with more consistency than his College tape suggested he would.

    Plus Chris Conte misses tackles all the time. Really not even sure what planet you live on, probably the same one as Buc Bonzai.

  27. Issic Haggins Says:

    Always said Conte is a dam good player and unlike some others plays hard every play !! He also hits people and doesn’t get flagged for it . Numerous games last year he made big big plays and was the best player on D. Now he had a few not so pretty out of position moments also ,but w that pass rush who doesn’t .

  28. passthebuc Says:

    If the foundation sucks, the penthouse will also suck. We bitched about the ability to go long last year and the problem was the trenches. We bitched about the corner and safety play but the problem was the trenches. I see the D being the strongest of the 2 units this year unless Dotson is OK and we fill the remaining week guard spot. No longer will opposing QB’s be able to have enough time to eat lunch before finding a receiver.

  29. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    The folks in section 121 really hate Conte… they are always yelling nasty things at him when he is in the area.

  30. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Conte is a below average run defender.
    You want to keep missing the playoffs? Keep starting the same players – definition of insanity- keep doing same thing and expect different results-
    Conte should be used in obvious passing down situations and as backup.

  31. JJBucfan Says:

    How in the world did ONLY Jay Hayes get his walking papers? How did the D Backs coaches survive?? Baffling!! I hope they know what they are doing because if after game 5 I have to start studying the draft again, I am going to be pissed!

  32. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    “Fan Favorite” Chris Conte. This woulda been a perfect time to use it Joe!

  33. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    “Where exactly did Joe issue some sort of firm defense of Conte?”

    Well isn’t that kind of the origin of the whole “fan favorite Chris Conte” joke? That you don’t think he’s as bad as people are making him out to be? You bring it up all the time. Similar to how you defend the O-line of not being that bad.

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    lambchop Says
    “Apart from a horrible DL, why is Conte more often than not in a bad position to make plays? He gets fooled on double moves, etc.”

    Conte was not alone in the secondary. CBs have job to do too. LBs too. You can blame Conte all you want, but if everyone was doing their jobs, he would have few issues.

    Regardless, he’s on the year to year phase of his career, so if the new guys work out, we won’t need him next year, except maybe as depth.

  35. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    JJBucfan Says
    “How in the world did ONLY Jay Hayes get his walking papers?”

    While I agree that others should have been packing (especially the RBs coach), there is no point in crying over it now. What’s done is done, and frankly, it’s old news. Time to move on.

    Alanbucsfan Says
    “…definition of insanity- keep doing same thing and expect different results…”

    Actually, no it isn’t. People like to say that, but its simply not true.

    Insanity: extreme foolishness; folly; senselessness; foolhardiness: a derangement of the mind.

  36. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Conte is like herpes, you ain’t getting rid if him.

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Blake_Bucsfan Says:
    “Conte has made exactly 2 good plays in his entire tenure as a Buc, and apart from that has been pretty garbage.”

    3 Years.
    225 tackles.
    19 passes defended.
    5 interceptions.
    5 fumbles.
    1 Touchdown.
    Only missed 4 games.

    I would say that is more than exactly 2 good plays.

  38. Ball Head Says:


  39. Ball Head Says:

    John Lynch wasn’t fast,but he knew where to be!!!! Always getting beat!

  40. Not there yet Says:

    Call it what you want but if you don’t like it you don’t like it, that doesn’t make it hate. This is why everyone one cried because we didn’t get deterring James not because he’s from Florida state.

    Conte is average or below and he can’t be a starter on a playoff caliber team because well I don’t think he ever has been before anyway. If he loses playing time to a rookieit proves we’re better without him on the field. That’s not hate it’s reality

  41. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    Stats are for losers. I’ve seen Conte give up more than his fair share of touchdowns, and I’ve also seen him miss many, many critical tackles.

    He played way beyond his ability in the 2nd half of 2016, and apart from that has been a garbage player. This happens all the time.

    Case and point. In 2015 Stephone Anthony led all rookies with 112 tackles, he has had 30 tackles since then and has been traded away from the team that drafted him for a 5th round pick.

    Just because a guy has a good year, doesn’t mean he’s a good player. Also just so you know, a Safety getting a bunch of meaningless tackles is more an indictment of the defense in front of him than an endorsement of that safety.

  42. Buchead407 Says:

    Conte is a bum joe. What happened to not settling for mediocrity All I ever see is the back of his jersey getting burnt or run over

  43. Kobe Faker Says:


    I promise you….you will clearly see and you will admit Kobe is right that Justin Evans is not good end of the year

    Kobe will apologise to you if im wrong

    “My track record speaks for itself”

    Kobe Faker

    **just wondering…what do you think tampa bays record going to be?

  44. Gambelero Says:

    Safeties and slot corners have such varied responsibilities that it’s really hard for casual fans or even automatized metrics to fairly evaluate (notice the split infinitive—getting closer to the JBF commenter writing standard, probably les than two years away). The coaches know what the assignments are and watch each individual player’s performance. And they’ve started Conte pretty much every year. Finally, Conte is a cap manager’s dream player; he signs every year for backup money and then plays 1000+ snaps. If Pickgrin is right about our cap situation, we’ll need some guys like Conte.

  45. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Conte may not be Sabby but he isn’t far behind. He cannot cover anyone at all. There is a reason why he ranks near the bottom almost yearly in coverage sacks. I thought he would’ve been gone 2 years ago but he still remains.

  46. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    You may end up being right, I’ve seen rookies turn in solid seasons and then regress hard plenty of times, Johnny Banks, Michael Clayton, Vernon Hargreaves. But based solely on his Rookie year I think you are way off.

    Btw I know it’s kind of part of your persona to pretend that you’re right all the time, but you know as well as I do that just this off season alone you’ve made several predictions that fell through hard.

    As for predicting our record, I refuse to do so this year, but I’ll say this, I have very little faith in Koetter and Smith to improve upon their deficiencies that were exposed in last season.

    Hearing Koetter chalk up our Redzone scoring woes to simply execution and not due to overly simplistic and predictable play design/ play-calling worries me to no end. Because it suggest’s to me that Koetter feels he did nothing wrong and that it was all on the players.

    I guess you could say I’m hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Either way I have zero hype or expectations going into this season.

  47. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Kobe Faker hit the nail on the head Babeeeee!!!!! Evans is a good coverage guy but can’t tackle Mam -Maw. Conte is liked by Smith and Koetter and that is the reason he’s on the field. I’ve been preaching and I will continue. Tandy is your starting SS…….When he plays the Bucs win. When he watches from the sideline the Bucs lose. I may be wrong but I may not!!!! Start Tandy Smith and win games and save your ass. Do like you did in 2017 and your ass is gone Bubba!!!!!

  48. BucTrooper Says:

    No one trails a big play like Conte.

  49. Kobe Faker Says:


    I agree with everything you said about Koetter

    Amazing all the teams and accomplished head coaches fighting for the best offensive coordinator/QB coach/playcaller talent last year…

    Koetter is too stubborn, ancient, predictable, sloth..

    “I am the Anti-Doug Pederson” Klueless

  50. BucHead5588 Says:

    I don’t think conte is that bad he’s not top 5 or anything but he is a solid veteran Safety An he can deffinatly teach Whitehead how to be a pro Whitehead is just a better all around athlete then Conte is an it will show in OTAs An Camp an I really think M.J. was brought in to play inside an outside grimes will all likely not be here next year An I think VH3 will take over for him in his spot VH3 will turn it all around this year he needed competition an a pass rush which we will have this year at the least it should be middle of the league which is way better then last year Let’s GoBUCS An Let’s Go Stick Carriers

  51. firethecannons Says:

    Buchead is right, every time I ever see Conte in a game is with VH3 inside the endzone tackling their ballcarieer.

  52. SOEbuc Says:

    My reason for hating Conte:

    He’s a SS that’s always 20 yards back from a 10-yard first down throw.

  53. BoJim Says:

    If someone is starting for an NFL team, doesn’t it stand to reason that he’s a pretty decent football player. I doubt if anyone here can even ride the bench. Doh!!

  54. lambchop Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai,

    I’m not giving the clear to the DBs either. But, my comment is in response to when Conte fails on his responsibility to be the secondary’s help. Everyone on that D sucked last year except for a few players. But, the article is about Conte.