--Last year when tight end Martellus Bennett, then a member of the Cowboys, was on the sideline watching a play made by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he did something that made several of his teammates look at him cross-eyed.
"He got a sack against (QB Tony) Romo," Bennett recalled. "I was on the sideline and I was like 'Yeah! Good sack!' Then I turn around, and someone was like 'Someone block that (guy)!'
The 'guy' Bennett is referring to is his older brother Michael, now the starting left defensive end for the Bucs, and the man that Bennett will try to keep away from quarterback Eli Manning this weekend.
"This week, I was telling him, 'Hey, you just have to suck it up and we just have to go at each other," Bennett said. "'If I win, you have to buy me something nice; if you win, I'll buy you something nice.'"
Although Bennett insisted that he and his brother were close and supportive of each other, he still couldn't help take a light jab at his older brother.
"It's the battle of the beards," he said. "I'm going to groom mine. His is a little bit sloppy. So it will be exciting."
--Head coach Tom Coughlin hasn't quite forgiven running back David Wilson for his critical fumble last week deep in enemy territory, but that doesn't mean that he's given up on the rookie first rounder.
Coughlin, who was still clearly irate when asked about the subject, said that he had a conversation with the rookie about his ball security issues and that Wilson has responded well.
"He's anxious to do right," Coughlin said.
Coughlin, meanwhile, said that the plan is to get Wilson the ball again on Sunday, though he wouldn't indicate how much or in what circumstances. Wilson, who has yet to be on the field to pass block, knows it's time for him to make up for his mistake.
"High and tight," he said when asked what he can do to make sure he does a better job with holding onto the ball. "No magic formula, just good technique."
If he can do that, then Wilson, whom Coughlin said is "a little" out of the doghouse, can easily regain his coach's trust as well as see an increased role in the offense.
Wilson's goal is to do just that. In addition to carrying the ball around high and tight mostly where ever he goes, the rookie said that he received a text message from his high school running backs coach, Chanston Rodgers, who told him to do a drill called the "O.B.," which stands for "odd ball."
"If you fumbled in the game, or in practice, there was a drill where you had to run 100 yards and for every 5 yards, you drop down with two footballs and you have to get back up without untucking your arms," Wilson explained.
Wilson said he never had to do the drill in high school. But when he received the text from his former coach, he went to the Giants' field house and did the drill.
Wilson said he's confident that he's put his fumbling issues behind him.
"I definitely want to play well and get our first win, so that's what I'm focused on."
--While it remains to be seen just how much tackle Will Beatty will play Sunday against Tampa Bay, the fourth-year tackle said that the Bucs' run defense, which last week held the Panthers to only ten yards on the ground, present a good challenge for the Giants' running game.
"I think Tampa Bay is a good opportunity for us to get our run game in order because of what they did," Beatty said. "They showed that they're not going to let a team run against them. If everyone is saying that's our problem, then we have a great team to go against that's going to bring out a lot in us."
--Receiver Victor Cruz said his forgettable game against Dallas last week served as a "nice little wakeup call" for the entire team.
Cruz, who appeared on WFAN radio in New York, told Mike Francesa that he might have taken his preparation for that game a bit for granted.
"For me personally, it was, I guess, a couple of first game jitters ? just thinking that the game was going to come to me naturally and I probably didn't have to work as hard," Cruz said.
"But you know, we got a nice little wakeup call, a nice little rude awakening that teams are going to be prepared for us, and we're going to get every team's best effort."
Cruz also reiterated head coach Tom Coughlin's sentiments that the team was more focused this week, and he acknowledged that when it comes to his game, teams are going to be playing very close attention to him in an attempt to limit the damage he does on offense.
"I have to understand that I'm going to get every defender's best effort and everyone is going to be out there to stop me. I just have to come prepared and come with my 'A' game."
And to get to his 'A' game, Coughlin said that Cruz needs to get back to fundamentals in terms of focus and technique.
"Concentration. Can't go anywhere without the ball. Come back to the ball. See the point. Catch the fat part. Put it away. Cover it up. Make the most direct course up the field and gain extra yardage, run after the catch."
--Last week, the trio of defensive ends Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul failed to record at least half a sack for the first time in a game (including postseason) since Nov. 28, 2011, when they came up empty against the Saints.
--Quarterback Eli Manning is 3-0 against the Bucs during his career (including the playoffs). In the three games played, Manning has completed 50 of 82 (61 percent) for 500 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for 98.6 rating.
--Despite having their next game four days after they face Tampa Bay, head coach Tom Coughlin said that the team hasn't begun looking at Carolina, who's next up on the schedule.
"The most important game we've ever played is this week and the next most important game we've ever played will be the week after," he said.
BY THE NUMBERS
140 -- Number of different quarterbacks who have started games for other teams league-wide since the Giants' Eli Manning made his debut as a starter on Nov. 21, 2004.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I hope the whole room is full of people that didn't sleep well." -- Head coach Tom Coughlin, when asked if the team's opening day performance against Dallas caused others on the team to not sleep well since the loss.
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