It took nearly three days of waiting, but safety
I was with my family – my parents and my wife’s parents and we were at a lake near Fort Worth, Texas. I was just pretty relieved. Then I got the phone call and saw my name come across the bottom of the screen and I guess that’s kind of when it hit me, like, “Man, this is finally happening,” after wanting it my whole life. Special teams coach Brad Seely was the one to call me up and I talked to coach Jim Harbaugh as well.
I would say after I made the 53-man roster at the end of training camp – it was pretty nerve-racking. You just hoped you didn’t get a phone call that morning of final cuts or have someone come up to your locker and say, “You’re out of here.”
It was tough. Just the transition from being an every-down starter on defense and then coming here and knowing my role has changed to special teams. That was the biggest adjustment. I love special teams and I played it in college, too – it’s not like I was doing something new – it was just different knowing that my sole focus would be on special teams. My college coach, Gary Patterson at Texas Christian University, really prepared us well for the grind of training camp. The cooler weather was a huge benefit because it was the first time I went in the locker room after a training camp and didn’t have body cramps every day. But the days were long, that was another big adjustment. It’ll make you mentally tough.
Probably the game against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs. I’ll just remember some big special teams plays that we had at the end of the game once we took the lead. At that point of the season, it was the biggest game I had ever played in and just seeing all the fans come together – it was crazy, it was awesome.
Blake Costanzo. He knew what I was going through and he had dealt with being released and coming back to a team before, so he helped me get through that experience. He’s just a good player, fun to watch and a good person to learn from, especially on special teams. I look forward to facing him this year when we play the Chicago Bears this year at home.
I was meeting with Coach Seely nearly every day during the season, working on different special teams stuff. It was a huge help and it got easier as the season wore on, because I would know when I made a mistake instead of having the coaches tell me about it. I learned from a lot Ejiro Evero as well, before he switched over to the offensive staff this offseason. You don’t want to think too much on special teams. You want to get to where you don’t have to think, because when you think you’re slow and slow’s not good.
ADVICE FOR 2012 DRAFT CLASS
Just work hard and do everything in your ability and everything will work out from there.
WITH THE NO. 30 OVERALL PICK, THE 49ERS SHOULD TAKE…
I have no clue… but I trust that general manager Trent Baalke and his staff will make a good pick.