SANTA CLARA — Here’s the transcript of today’s Q&A with special teams standout Blake Costanzo.
Q: Brad Seely said you’re a guy who looks like maybe you should be working a nine-to-five job. Is that fair?
COSTANZO: Well, I do. I don’t look like much of a football player. I say all my genetics are hidden inside. But I actually do help. In Cleveland I used to help fold some towels. I help these guys fold some towels sometimes too. I can do anything.
Q: Valet? Park cars?
COSTANZO: Yeah, my brother does that, so if you guys need help. I can’t drive stick to well, so I might have some problems.
Q: Did you guys have a nickname in Cleveland for Seely?
COSTANZO: No, we didn’t have a nickname for him.
Q: Some guys were trying to get “The Professor” going.
COSTANZO: Oh The Professor, you know what, they did call him The Professor, for sure. The way he looks and the way he acts.
Q: Is he more of a teacher than other special teams coaches that you’ve had?
COSTANZO: Oh yeah, for sure. Very detail-oriented. Great teacher. Great motivator. It’s hard to coach special teams because you’ve got offensive guys, defensive guys, to try to bring them all together and form a unit is pretty tough. He just does a great job of getting guys together and teaching them what to do. Everyone wants to go out there and play for him.
Q: Harbaugh seems to lean on him during games for much for than special teams. Do you get the sense that he knows a lot about every aspect of the game, not just special teams?
COSTANZO: Yeah, well he’s been in the NFL for 30 something years. He’s also won three Super Bowls, so I’m sure he’s got a lot of experience, especially with game management and clock management. If I was a head coach it would be awesome to lean on him just in certain situations to see his input.
Q: Do guys play harder on special teams for a winning team than for a losing team?
COSTANZO: I think it all comes with the attitude that you have and obviously the coach that you have. Everywhere I’ve been we’ve had a couple guys that were core special teams guys – that’s all they did. Whether we were winning or not that was our job and we take it seriously. When you’re winning, obviously everything helps.
Q: Are you on all the special teams units?
COSTANZO: Yeah, I’m on all of them. If I wasn’t I probably wouldn’t be around (laughter).
Q: How well do you know Josh Cribbs?
COSTANZO: He was one of my good friends out there. Actually, my first tackle ever in the NFL was on Josh when I played for Buffalo. Unbelievable player. Great person. One of the best football players I’ve ever played with, and it will be exciting to try to tackle him again.
Q: Do you remind him that your first NFL tackle was on him?
COSTANZO: I used to joke around a couple times about it. I hope I get a couple more this week though, so I can mess with him.
Q: He seems to be a lot bigger than the typical returner. Is that what separates him from other return men?
COSTANZO: Yeah, I think it’s his size and I think it’s his will. He’s got a will like I’ve never seen anyone before. I haven’t seen one person tackle him – it’s always got to be two or three guys. I think it’s just his will, and he’s just a football player, that’s all I can describe him as.