"I hope so," Conte said confidently. "Bring it. I'm playing the game not to just be out there. I want to make plays. And I can't make plays unless they throw me the ball."
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III threw Conte a high, floating deep ball two Sundays ago at FedEx Field that he should have intercepted, but instead wide receiver Aldrick Robinson caught it for a 45-yard touchdown.
It didn't matter that cornerback Charles Tillman looked his age stumbling to defend Robinson in the end zone or that coaches considered Conte among the Bears' best defensive backs through six games. Conte provided an awful game's takeaway moment that symbolized the defense's season-long ineptitude when he bumped into Robinson, lost his footing and became Chicago's most convenient fall guy.
Even if the Bears defense proves to be that bad overall, Conte isn't. The third-year starter indeed contributed to the problem but steadily has shown enough promise to be considered part of the solution too.
"For the first few days it was hard to ignore stuff," Conte admitted. "That's not who I am. Things I can't let happen did happen. I just have to put those in the past and can't worry about what people are saying on social media or whatever."
In more ways than one, Conte grasps all that goes into being a "Person of Interest." That's the name of the quirky, award-winning crime drama on CBS where his father, Mark, works as a film editor. The Conte family's Hollywood connection traces back to Chris' grandfather, Richard, an actor whose film credits include "The Godfather."
While Mark Conte stayed busy editing TV movies and feature films all over Europe, Chris recalled childhood trips "everywhere from Bulgaria to Italy."
"It was cool for a kid," Conte said.
Spanning the globe as a boy hardly prepared Conte for covering NFL ground as a man, but the quick maturation of the 24-year-old safety came partly from realizing the world is bigger than a 100-yard rectangle. Conte's obvious perspective makes it easier to handle the horrible effort against the Redskins, after which Conte answered every last question about his worst game as a Bear.
More than a cornerback's speed and athleticism that makes teammates marvel, the ability to process adversity represents Conte's greatest strength — not that Pro Football Focus has a metric for that.
"I just got back to fundamentals and that feeling I had in college, looking at past game film and reminding myself of my potential and the things I can do," Conte said. "They love you when you're playing great and hate you when you have a bad day. You can't buy too much into that. You'll be high one week and down the next. You can't play that way."
Against the Packers, Conte knows he can't play poorly again and stay on the field. His tackling needs to improve, especially against receivers who gained more yards after a catch in Week 2 — 295 — than any team since STATS started measuring YAC. Consider too that in Rodgers' last four regular-season games against the Bears — three of which Conte played — he has completed 70 percent of his passes for 1,090 yards, 12 TDs and two interceptions for a passer rating of 117.2. Those numbers dwarf Brett Favre's lifetime marks against the Bears.
So Conte realizes if his fellow Cal alum acts happy to see him, it might not be just to reminisce about Berkeley.
"We're not calling each other up this week talking trash — I don't really know Aaron like that, but I sure respect him," Conte said.
The respect Conte quietly built up inside Halas Hall surfaced through the tough times. Bears defensive backs coach Jon Hoke, a believer in Conte since attending his Pro Day at Cal in 2011, buoyed his confidence by dwelling on the positives and getting back to the basics.
Separately, general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman downplayed the glaring crisis by endorsing the safety tandem of Conte and Major Wright — though Wright returning to the Bears in 2014 seems harder to fathom than Conte.
But forget the future. Thanks to Rodgers, the present looms as a bigger concern for an embarrassed unit that gave up 38 points its last outing.
"I don't know whether that's the reality or an aberration," Trestman said. "We're certainly going to find out a lot more Monday night."
For the Bears to remain in the hunt, Conte and the defense better stay on their toes.