SANTA CLARA -- Blake Costanzo enjoyed his offseason doing yard work, planting flowers and tiling his bathroom. Deep down, though, he still preferred being a jack-of-all-trades on the football field.

Hence, Costanzo jumped at the opportunity when the 49ers called and offered him a shot at returning for a second stint. He signed a one-year contract.

"It's a good opportunity to come out here and play some football again," Costanzo said after he completed his first practice in a 49ers uniform since he left after the 2011 season. "I was doing too much yard work at home, so I'm glad to be out here competing again."

Costanzo, 30, played for the 49ers in 2011. He signed with the Chicago Bears in 2012 and spent the past two seasons there.

San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Williams (10) reacts to fumbling a punt return in overtime during their game against the New York Giants for the NFC
San Francisco 49ers' Kyle Williams (10) reacts to fumbling a punt return in overtime during their game against the New York Giants for the NFC Championship game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. At left is San Francisco 49ers' Blake Costanzo (51). (Nhat V. Meyer/Staff) ( Nhat V. Meyer )

Costanzo is listed as a linebacker. However, he carved out a niche as a core special teams player during his first seven seasons — he started only one game.

"I've been a special teamer my whole life, so I'm definitely going to focus on that," Costanzo said.

Costanzo's departure after the 2011 season created a huge void on special teams that the 49ers filled with the additions of Kassim Osgood and Bubba Ventrone.

All three are on the 49ers 90-man roster right now. Costanzo knows Osgood from playing against him over the years, and he and Ventrone once were teammates with the Cleveland Browns.

The 49ers advanced to the NFC Championship game in Costanzo's lone season here. They played in the Super Bowl and another NFC Championship game in the two seasons Costanzo played for the Bears.

He said he watched from afar and reveled in his former teammates' success.

"Winning is (important) to me," Costanzo said, "but ... to watch them do what they did is pretty special. Pretty cool."

Now, Costanzo wants to be a part of getting the 49ers over the hump and in a position to capture their sixth Super Bowl.

Fellow linebacker Patrick Willis said Costanzo is a difference-maker on special teams.

"We're very fortunate to have a guy like that on our special teams," Willis said. "We lost some guys who had been some key special teams players for us, so to add Blake back is really going to help us out big-time."

  • XAM Sports, which has represented quarterback Colin Kaepernick since his second-round selection in the 2011 draft, is expected to meet face-to-face this week with 49ers president Paraag Marathe, the Sacramento Bee first reported.

    Kaepernick's contract talks are picking up in the wake of the 49ers gaining more than $6 million in salary-cap room as a result of cornerback Carlos Rogers' March release, which was post-dated to June for paperwork purposes.

  • To make room on the roster for Costanzo, the 49ers waived guard Al Netter, a practice-squad player the final three months of last season.

  • Tight end Vernon Davis and offensive lineman Alex Boone continue to stay away from these voluntary OTAs in an apparent statement about their contract status.

  • Quarterback Josh Johnson made the catch of the day while filling in as a receiver. With big names such as Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Stevie Johnson not present, Johnson lined up at times as a wideout. He wrested the ball away under tight coverage from rookie Dontae Johnson in the end zone.

    Staff writer Cam Inman contributed to this report. Follow Steve Corkran on Twitter at twitter.com/CorkOnTheNFL.