The veteran safety tied Lavonte David for the team lead in stops and has already racked up 26 tackles through three games. He also alertly picked up a fumble by the Rams' Kenny Britt early in the second quarter and provided a nifty 10-yard return. Conte is providing above-average tackle numbers out of the free safey so far this season, a trend he'll look to continue in the Week 4 matchup versus the Broncos.
The veteran safety's final stat line was solid enough, but he appeared to be at least partially responsible for two of the Cardinals' scores. Conte was late coming over to help Brent Grimes on a first-quarter touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald and then let Michael Floyd get behind him on a late second-quarter strike, a reception that turned out to be the receiver's only catch on the day. Conte does have 18 tackles through the first two games, but his performance and that of his secondary mates left much to be desired in Week 2.
Conte totaled 11 tackles (seven solo) in Sunday's 31-24 victory over the Falcons.
The veteran safety was second only to Kwon Alexander in stops on the afternoon, an extension of the impressive training camp and preseason that he put together. Conte was busy throughout the contest, with Matt Ryan attempting 39 passes and Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combining for 19 totes. Although it appeared that the surprise January firing of head coach Lovie Smith, who was instrumental in bringing Conte onboard last season after their joint tenure in Chicago, could have easily led to the Bucs opting not to re-sign him, he increasingly looks like he could be one of the bargains of the offseason after re-upping on a one-year deal.
The veteran safety, who was re-signed to a one-year deal in March, was a thorn in the side of Bucs quarterbacks Saturday. Conte impressively hauled in Jameis Winston's attempted post to Mike Evans and then came down with a deflected pass in the end zone. He was a whisper away from a third pick, cutting in front of Brate on the left sideline and getting his hands on the ball before having it squirt to the ground. Conte was singled out by head coach Dirk Koetter after practice and could have plenty of opportunties for plays on the ball this season, considering that new defensive coordinator Mike Smith's scheme will reportedly ask the safeties to line up in "five or six" different looks.
The 27-year-old returns to Tampa despite the departure of head coach Lovie Smith, who was instrumental in bringing his former Bears protege to the Bucs in 2015. Conte totaled 79 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles last season, while playing 66.5 percent of the defensive snaps (731). A knee injury originally suffered in Week 15 versus the Rams led to Conte being placed on injured reserve prior to the season finale. The six-year veteran does have history with one of the coaches on new Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith's staff, having worked with secondary coach Jon Hoke while both were with the Bears.
|5||10/10/16||@ CAR||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/23/16||@ SF||4:05 pm|
|11||11/20/16||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|13||12/4/16||@ SD||4:25 pm|
|15||12/18/16||@ DAL||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/16||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||79||59.0||20||0||2||-4||-2.0||-2||0||6|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||26||20.0||6||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||0||0||0||1||10||1||0|