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October 24, 2013

Catching Up with Chicago Bears’ Blake Costanzo ’06

Blake Costanzo ’06 is in his second season with the Chicago Bears and his seventh in the National Football League. He has played some games at linebacker but has been known as a standout special teams performer his entire career, once earning selection to SI.com’s All-Pro team on special teams.

GoLeopards.com recently caught up with him.

GoLeopards.com: What do you miss most about Lafayette?

“The thing I miss most about Lafayette is my teammates—what a group we had.  When we came in, we had tough guys who loved football and loved each other and we changed the program around. They were just awesome guys who I still keep in contact with today.”

Chicago Bears linebacker Blake Costanzo '06 runs down the field during a game
GoLeopards.com: What’s the best part about playing in the NFL?

“The best part about playing in the NFL besides getting to wear sweats to work every day is the people I’ve met. I’ve visited so many children’s hospitals, met kids from different backgrounds, people from all over. I enjoy everything from helping build swing sets in the roughest of neighborhoods, to talking with inner city youth about expressing their feelings, to hanging with cancer survivors who are only eight years old.”

GoLeopards.com: You have been with four teams in four cities so far in your career. Which has been your favorite?

“Each city has been great to me and I’ve been blessed to cover the whole country from New York to San Francisco. I have had no favorites, and each city has given me memories that will be with me forever.”

GoLeopards.com: You had the opportunity to play with Brian Urlacher last season. What was it like to play with and learn from him?

“Brian Urlacher. Wow! Probably one of the most humble and awesome people I have ever played with and one of the greatest leaders I’ve been around. But, honestly he’s a way better person than a football player and he’s a Hall of Famer so that says something. I just feel blessed to have met him and played with him.”

GoLeopards.com: Why do you think you have been so successful as a special teamer?

“To me, special teams is sort of the character builder of the NFL. It’s such a selfless part of the game but I feel it takes the most desire. It’s just a role that I have embraced and told myself whatever I do in life I just don’t want to [just] do it—I want to make an impact. I want to be known and I just didn’t want to be a special teams player, I wanted to be a leader and a difference maker and that’s what I’ve strived to do.”

GoLeopards.com: We saw on Twitter you playing catch with a young fan before a game last week. What do you enjoy most about interacting with your fans?

“That’s kind of my new pre-game ritual. I play catch with kids in the stands pregame. It’s great. I like to keep it loose before games so what’s better than having a catch and putting a smile on a kid’s face. I probably get more out of the interaction than the kids (laughing).”

GoLeopards.com: It looks like you enjoy working on cars. What are you driving now? What is your favorite car you have driven or worked on?

“It’s my new hobby. I love old-school cars. I love the old-school way. My grandparents and parents have always taught me to work hard and to work with my hands. What’s better than bringing a car back to life? I have a 1970 Chevelle, a 1964 El Camino, and a 1929 Ford sedan Model A.”

GoLeopards.com: What is the biggest misconception about NFL players?

“Biggest misconception… is that we aren’t regular people (laughing). We have the same feelings, the same shortcomings, and go through the same things in life as everyone else. We just have a cool job.”

GoLeopards.com: What do you do in your spare time and in the offseason?

“I just bought a house so I love doing yard work and working on my house. My off seasons will be busy from here on out.”

GoLeopards.com: You’re active on Twitter (@BlakeCostanzo51). Who are some of your favorite people to follow?

“Twitter is OK. I like interacting with fans but I usually use it when I’m bored in meetings to help me stay awake (laughing).”

More on Costanzo

Costanzo has played in 63 career games, gathering 71 special teams tackles with four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. In two career postseason games, he has registered four special teams tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

He played the 2011-12 season for the San Francisco 49ers and was their special teams’ standout and a game captain in the playoffs.

Prior to signing with the 49ers, Costanzo spent two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. In 2009, Costanzo played in all 16 games, notching 14 tackles with three fumble recoveries and a forced fumble on special teams. He was named to SI.com’s All-Pro team on special teams that year. In 2010, he played in 10 games and recorded seven tackles and a fumble recovery on special teams before a groin injury that required surgery forced him to miss the final six games.

Costanzo signed with the New York Jets in 2006 as an undrafted free agent and later spent time with the Buffalo Bills from 2007-08, playing in 19 games and registering 33 special teams tackles, including a team-high 26 stops in 2008. He was claimed off waivers by Cleveland in June 2009.

He finished his Lafayette career with 307 tackles, 18 sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and 12 passes defended. He was part of three Patriot League championship teams.

posted in Alumni, Alumni Profiles, Alumni Success Stories, Have Cur Non Impact, News and Features, Top News

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1 Comment

  1. I’m thrilled to hear of the ways in which Blake has used his stardom to make a difference in the lives of others, through simple acts of kindness and compassion. I can still remember when Blake and Zack Wiggins sat right in front of me during their frosh first semester History 105 class. You’ve come a long way, baby. Stay healthy, and keep sharing your good fortune with others. All the best, bob

    says bob weiner
    November 6, 2013 at 10:32 am
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