Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bennett out to Prove a Point

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bennett out to Prove a Point

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - Martellus Bennett signed with the Giants this off-season having been labeled a draft-day bust following four underachieving seasons in Dallas.

Anxious to write a new chapter to his football career, Bennett accepted the challenge of changing the perception of his worth, knowing the only way to accomplish that was to bring substance to the already-colorful leading character of that would-be gridiron novel.

Since his arrival, thrust into a significant role as Jake Ballard's replacement at tight end for the reigning Super Bowl champions, Bennett has compared himself to such iconic figures as Atlas, Mahatma Gandhi and - gulp - pop culture queen Kim Kardashian.

His personality has made him very popular with the media and fans on Twitter, but it's his work ethic and physical gifts that have earned him respect in the Giants' locker room.

When Bennett takes the field against his old team in the regular- season opener Wednesday night, the comedy routine surrounding the self-nicknamed "Black Unicorn" will take a backseat to his performance on the field.

In other words, the first step in the Giants' defense of their Super Bowl championship represents the perfect time for Bennett to step onto the big stage and prove he is not all sideshow, no production.

"I just want to show I can be a dominant football player," the 6- foot-6, 265-pound Bennett said. "I mean, the funny [stuff] is cool. But it's not what I am here for. I am here to make big plays. If I can tell a joke while making big plays, hey, it all works together.

"But I ain't really here to tell jokes."

What Bennett also has found with the Giants is acceptance, not to mention someone he only half-jokingly called his "new best friend."

That would be none other than two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, to whom Bennett said he sends random text messages, thanking him for being his quarterback. …

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