Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
The AFC North version of the Blog Network caught up with Cincinnati Bengals tight end Ben Utecht to discuss, among other things, expectations for the coming year and what he does with his Super Bowl ring.
1. Ben, your career high is 37 receptions with the Indianapolis Colts, but this is your first year as a starter. Do you sense a big year coming in 2008?
Ben Utecht: I don't know. I'm not going to go out and say that's the case. I can say that I have a lot of goals. This is a big goal year for me. I want to come out and solidify myself as a solid tight end in this league. So I have some high goals, but I think every year can be a career year. That's just the way it is as an athlete.
2. Is quarterback Carson Palmer as good as advertised?
BU: Absolutely. I got along with Carson from the minute I came here. I know he's excited about having a receiving tight end. I have truly been spoiled going from Peyton Manning to Carson Palmer -- two just excellent quarterbacks. It's been an easy transition for me.
3. Where is the Super Bowl ring you won in 2006?
BU: I do have my ring; you can count on that! But it's at home. It's a beautiful ring and it's locked away. Usually you don't take it out until special occasions. But it's a constant reminder of what we're striving for and how hard you have to work to get there.
4. Any thoughts of bringing it around your Bengal teammates for motivation?
BU: If the time comes, then that will happen. But I just think this team has such great focus and a great attitude. The way we started off this training camp has been very good. So I'm really excited to see what this team will bring to the NFL this year.
5. This is very good division for tight ends. How do you feel you will match up week-to-week with Kellen Winslow Jr. of the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers' Heath Miller and Todd Heap of the Baltimore Ravens?
BU: You're absolutely right. This is one of the greatest divisions right now in the league for tight ends. For me, it just gives me that much more of a goal to reach. I look at myself and say, "You know, I know I can do what they do." I really believe that. They've all been on great teams that utilize that position, and I'm excited that the Bengals want to try to utilize the [tight end] position here.