Q&A With Ben Utecht

As part of's Super Bowl coverage, Ed Thompson talked to Colts TE Ben Utecht who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent in March. Find out what he had to say about the Colts' win over the Patriots, teammate Dallas Clark and this weekend's Super Bowl in this exclusive interview!

Ed Thompson: Tell us a little bit about what was going through your head when you saw Marlin Jackson intercept that ball to clinch the AFC championship…

Ben Utecht: Pure excitement. I had just come out of the game with a knee sprain and that couldn't even hold me down. I was off the bench right away just filled with joy.

ET: Were you able to watch the play up on the board even though you were on the bench due to your knee?

BU: Oh yes, absolutely, it was incredible to watch the play unfold and you knew the defense was going to come up with something great…you could just feel it.

ET: How did you guys regroup at halftime…what was said?

BU: The halftime time together was probably the most important time of the game together. We grew and came together as a team and our philosophy for the week before the game was "it's our time" and that was a phrase that coach reiterated at halftime that this is our time and we've been put in an incredible situation to be successful and we're not going to let anybody take it away. That was something that really got the team refocused and motivated and obviously we had a great second half on both sides of the ball.

ET: How did you feel about your performance in the game?

BU: I thought the game was going really good. As a team, it was a great win for us because everybody executed real well. For me it was going real good, the run game started to pick up in the second half and the pass protection was real good I was able to make an underneath catch in the first half and overall I think it was a really good performance and we just have to step it up another level for this next game.

ET: How tough were the looks and challenges the Patriots gave you?

BU: One of the great things about this was we just recently played Baltimore and Baltimore runs a similar 3-4 defense except they do a lot more movement; they move around and try to confuse you. The Patriots run the same 3-4 defense, but they don't move around as much so it's easier for you to see where they're at and what they're doing. So it was actually good preparation for us playing New England to have the week before played Baltimore so for me this week it was one of those situations where we knew what they were going to line up in and we had our plays for that defense and we just executed.

ET: How's that knee feeling?

BU: It's feeling a lot better, I'll tell you it was pretty scary when it happened. I heard some of my friends' reactions as they were watching on TV, they said it looked pretty bad as well, so I'm just thankful to The Lord for just protecting me and keeping me healthy. It probably could have ended up being a lot worse…it's just a minor sprain...

(Getty Images/Elsa)
ET: There's no way you're going to miss this Super Bowl is there?

BU: No way.

ET: What were your impressions from the Saints-Bears game because their defense certainly looked like the Bears' defense of September and October again…

BU: They have a really solid defense and special teams and offense is making plays when it needs to. So we just need to prepare for them like we have these other teams in the playoffs. You've got to understand that they're hungry for it and their defense really comes after you with Brian Urlacher leading the way, and that's just the facts. We need to put together a great offensive scheme and execute and I think that's what we're going to do and we're going to do a really good job.

ET: Share your thoughts on your fellow tight-end Dallas Clark

BU: Dallas is an incredible athlete. When he was in college, we played against each other then for four years and it's a pleasure for me to be able to play with him here and learn from him. He's really battled back from a knee injury as well and is really playing great football, making a lot of huge catches, so you've just got to give all of the credit to Dallas for persevering and being such an important part of this team.

ET: Why doesn't Dallas wear gloves like the rest of the receivers?

BU: I think that's a rhythm Dallas got in playing ball in college. I think he just really likes the feel of being able to catch the ball without anything else in the way. It's gone real well for him. I don't know what would happen if we played up in Chicago at this time of year, whether he'd put the gloves on to help him out or not, but he really likes to go with bare hands.

ET: Do they help you grip the ball a little bit better and help you handle some of those Peyton Manning "laser rocket arm" throws?

BU: (laughs) Well, for me personally, if you're a good receiver, you're a good receiver. I think you could catch the ball with or without the gloves. For me, with being on the line I like to wear the gloves so that I can protect my hands a little bit more.  And it gives them a little bit more stability, especially trying to grip some of these defensive ends and outside linebackers.

ET: Is there anything else I can pass on to the fans for you?

BU: Just that we appreciate their support so much and we're going to go out and give it our all and play with our hearts.

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