Colts Q&A With Ben Utecht

Colts tight end Ben Utecht shared his thoughts on Indy's win over Tennessee last week and his preparations for Houston this week. And find out what he had to say about the Texans LBs and defensive end Mario Williams in this exclusive interview with's Ed Thompson.

Ed Thompson:  Congratulations on the 2-0 start. How are you feeling? I know you were a little banged-up coming out of last week's game against the Titans.

Ben Utecht: Feeling good, feeling good. You know, it's a rough game. The Titans played rough, they came after us and being a tight end catching those balls across the middle, you're going to get hit and take some shots. But I'm feeling good.

ET:  You had a busy day against Tennessee with five catches. When you were watching film of their defense last week did you have any idea that you'd be that active in the game?

BU:  They were playing a lot of zone, and when teams play zone you're going to have a lot of those check-down routes and zone-routes open. So it was one of those situations where you've got to be ready for the ball. Peyton's always going to try to get the ball to the open players, and I happened to be one of them that day.

ET:  I know Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck put quite a hit on you after a catch, and when you fumbled I noticed that even though he had your upper body wrapped up, you were fighting to use your legs to cover up the ball until you could get some help, which I thought was a pretty smart play given the situation. It definitely saved the possession as there were some Titans close enough to grab the ball otherwise. What was going through your head when that happened?

ET:  Talk a little bit about Keith Bulluck. He's one of the guys in this league I've got a lot of respect for from a talent perspective.

BU:  Keith is a good guy and a hard worker. I overheard David Thornton talking about his preparation for the game, it's very intense. He just really likes the competition and he plays like it on the field.

BU:  It all happened so fast, but I felt the ball come into contact with my leg so I tried to sit on it as long as I possibly could. Thankfully, we've got guys like Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark who hustle along with the ball, hustle to the play and never stop playing -- and they get the ball back for you. And that's one of those situations where you've got guys flying all around you, and you need that.

ET:  You've got the Houston up next. Talk about what's impressed you about the Texans defense as you've watched them on film this week.

BU:  They play hard and they make you work for your yards. Just like they did last year, they want to keep our offense off the field, so their defense is going to come after us.  They're off to a 2-0 start, they've got more confidence this year and they're playing like it. So that's something we have to be ready for.

Brian Bahr/Getty

ET:  The Texans have a good pair of veteran outside linebackers in Danny Clark and Morlon Greenwood. How do you think you and Dallas Clark match up against those guys?

BU:  Dallas has great speed and he really makes it tough on linebackers. So much of it comes down to the looks they show us -- if they're playing Cover Two or Cover One. But you're right, they've got some good seniority in those linebackers, but we're going to do the best job we can to open up the field for Peyton.

ET:  How about their young, second-year linebacker in the middle -- DeMeco Ryans. What's impressed you the most about him?

BU:  Bottom line, what's impressed me across the board is his work ethic. It's not easy to come into the league and learn the game quickly so you can play fast -- and he has. That's a real credit to him. It's one of those situations where when you're team depends on you, you've got to show up to play. And it looks like he's doing that.

ET:  I know one of your great strengths is your ability to help out on the line in pass protection. One of the guys you may have to take on this week or at least help Tony Ugoh with over on the left side is defensive end Mario Williams. What kind of challenge does he present for you this week?

BU:  He's a physical specimen. He's 6-foot-5, 295 (pounds) and strong. It's going to be one of those situations where technique and fundamentals come into play, and Tony (Ugoh) -- for a rookie is doing good in that area. I think he's got a lot of confidence. I think if we stay fundamentally sound, we should be able to handle Mario as best as we can. He's a great player, and he's going to come after us.

ET:  Ben, after such a big win against New Orleans, do you think it was good for the team to have a slugfest in Tennessee just to keep the team grounded and remind you that it does take a strong effort every single week if you want to claim another Lombardi Trophy?

BU:  Absolutely. It keeps you realizing that every team is going to measure their own abilities when they play you because of last year's season. So to go through what we did last week was good. You get to learn from your mistakes, especially on offense we had a lot to improve on this week and a lot of things to work on. We had a good week of practice, and we really think it's going to help us play a really good game down in Texas.

Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the network and are syndicated through's NFL team pages. He's also a guest expert on the Indianapolis Colts on radio shows around the country. You can contact him by email through this link.

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