ALBANY -- Martellus Bennett admitted to having some deep Zen-like thoughts in the offseason, but it wasn't enough to expunge his hatred of the Cowboys.
Bennett, who played for Dallas for four years, showed up at his first Giants training camp Thursday spitting venom for his former team -- and every other team that doesn't wear a Giants uniform.
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"I just want to kick those guys' [butts]," Bennett said of the Cowboys, who open the regular season against the Giants on Sept. 5. "That is what it is all about. I mean, we're cool but we ain't that cool, know what I am saying? I kind of got some ill feelings towards them overall. It is a game. I kind of hate everybody, honestly, in the NFL."
Bennett's four years in Dallas were spent as an understudy to Jason Witten at tight end. He said he feels like a rookie coming to the Giants, for whom he expects to get his first chance to play as a regular. He totaled 85 receptions for 846 yards and four touchdowns with Dallas.
"Who's better to learn behind than Witten?" Bennett said. "He is one of the best to ever do it. I learned a lot from him. Every once in a while, plants can't really grow when they are out-shaded by the tall tree. So I get a little sunlight for myself now."
Bennett, 25, was philosophical about other parts of his life and game as well.
"I kind of sound like Gandhi right now, but I studied myself a lot over the last couple of years," Bennett said with a chuckle. "Just the way I approached things and the way I went about things when I was in Dallas. I made a lot of improvements . . . It really is about being happy and being at peace with myself. I am at peace with myself. I am not at peace with everybody else. I have never been this hungry or this enthused about going to camp."
For years, Brandon Jacobs had been the Giants' biggest Cowboys-hater. Now, it seems, Bennett is ready to take over that role in the locker room.
Bennett created a stir in the spring when he weighed 290 pounds after adding nearly 15 pounds of muscle. He said he made weight when he reported to the Giants Thursday and seemed to be fit. He said he will not be hampered by the hamstring issue that caused him to miss most of the pre-camp workouts.
Bennett, who got a one-year deal from the Giants, has a lot to prove. He thinks his animosity will help him, particularly when aimed at the Cowboys.
"I think it will be a good year for me," he said after pointing out in a colorful way that he is ticked off "about a whole lot."
So much for Gandhi.