Colts Q&A: Ben Utecht

Ben Utecht is feeling 100 percent healthy for the first time during an offseason as a Colt. He shares the details of his injury history, including last year's chest injury, and much more in this ColtPower exclusive.

Question: When you were an undrafted free agent, what other teams were showing interest in you?

Ben Utecht: I came down to the Combine even though I didn't perform because of my injury. I had meetings with the Redskins and Dolphins. I took calls from the Eagles; there were a handful of teams…

Q: What advice would you give to undrafted free agents in terms of getting noticed and increasing their chance of making the team? What has been your secret to success?

BU: I knew going into the Combine with my injury that it was going to be a really difficult process. I basically became my own marketer and put together, with my agent, a great portfolio and highlight video. I just went around and sold myself really. I went to anyone I could find, handed my information out and talked to people. I did as much marketing as I possibly could to get my name out there. My advice would be to do whatever you can to get your name out there.

Q: What was the injury that was hampering you at the Combine?

BU: My senior year in college I tore my lower abdominal muscles basically. It was a sports hernia that got even more severe.

Q: Was it a carryover from that injury that caused you to miss your rookie year?

BU: That is the reason. The Colts brought me in and I got surgery and I missed that whole first year in rehab.

Q: That's a type of surgery and an injury that fans are hearing more and more about, was it something that was just misdiagnosed in the past?

BU: I would say it was getting misdiagnosed and I would say the more players are getting bigger and stronger, the more you're seeing it. It's an injury caused by having muscles that are attached in that area become stronger than the attachment itself. And it starts to create tears in the muscle. That was my situation and it was misdiagnosed in college, so I played through it and it got worse my senior year. 

Q: Last year some media outlets were referring to your injury as a chest injury, some said it was a rib injury. What was it and how tough was it to come back from?

BU: This is the first offseason I really feel 100 percent and feel great. But I went into the second game of the year last season starting against Jacksonville, and I went down to make a cut block and the defensive end was running away and basically his heel shot up into my ribs under my pads and I fractured three ribs. That was very, very uncomfortable and I had to sit out a few weeks. I started to come back slowly, and that's why my reps kind of slowed up a bit. But I started getting those reps toward the end of the season and I ended the season pretty strong.

Q: The Colts are very deep in talent at the tight end spot but there is a lot of diversity as far as what each one of you does best. What do you feel you bring to the football field that the team counts on you most for at the tight end position?

BU: I've always strived to be the all around tight end. I've always wanted to be the guy that was good at everything. We've got some great talent at tight end in Dallas Clark, Bryan Fletcher and Ben Hartsock. For me I really want to be the prototype tight end and I really think that there is confidence that I can be that player, that I can come out for pass protection and blocking, but also can really stretch the field out being fast for my size.


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