One game has made all the difference in the world for linebacker special teams ace Blake Costanzo. Last week against the Denver Broncos, Costanzo was downright awful. He missed many tackles, and assignments; he looked like a shoe in to be cut from the team.
Costanzo has never started an NFL game from the linebacker position. He's known for his special teams coverage ability and that's why the Bears signed him.
Costanzo however needs to at least be competent as a special teams player given that backup middle linebacker Dom DeCicco is a good special teams guy and shows potential at linebacker. When roster spots are hard to come by, versatility is the key for any player.
Now with DeCicco nursing a groin injury, that is likely to keep him out until the first week of the regular season, Costanzo has to step up.
Step up he did in the Redskins game putting himself squarely back in position to make the team. Costanzo stood out in this game to the naked eye and when you go back and look at the tape.
On the day Costanzo registered six tackles and two tackles for a loss against the Redskins. A very strong effort on Constanzo's part because he showed none of the hesitation that plagued him in the Broncos game.
There wasn't any read and react, Costanzo was in full attack mode and was making plays as a result of it. His performance from one week to the next was night and day, and as a result he's squarely on the roster bubble.
The latter part of game three against the Giants and the fourth game against the Browns are critical for Costanzo. If he comes in and relieves Nick Roach on a few different plays, in the Giants game that too will be key to his spot on the roster.
If Costanzo is able to play at close to the level he played at in the Redskins he'll easily find himself a spot on the roster and in position to contribute in 2012.