CINCINNATI - Michael Bamiro has been getting a lot of attention in training camp, but not for the right reasons. The humongous guard from Stony Brook University has been involved in two fistfights with teammates and was almost in a third. He's developing an unwanted reputation.

"I don't want to be known as the guy who goes out there and looks for problems," he told Newsday before the team's first joint practice with the Bengals on Tuesday. "That's not me."

There is a fine line between being a high-motor player and being one who is too aggressive in practices. Bamiro is trying to come down on the right side of that balance.

"We're all competing, we're all trying to get better," he said. "I never want to go into a practice wanting to hurt somebody on my team or hurt anyone else. But you want people on your team with that passion to play."

At one point in Saturday's practice, defensive players were screaming at him for knocking over defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton. Bamiro extended his arms and wasn't even sure what he was doing wrong.

"That one, it felt like an accident," he said. "I was locked in and he just fell over. I didn't do that on purpose. I know how dangerous that is and I've seen guys get hurt doing that."

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While Tom Coughlin has railed against the training camp fights -- and warned the Giants about having them this week against the Bengals -- Bamiro has been given more specific advice from his position coaches.

"They told me to try to keep guys up and try to stay away from all of the extra stuff," he said. "That's what I'm doing from now on. Trying to steer clear from all of that."

And trying to garner some attention for his play and not his fighting. He's making a transition to guard this summer, something he said was a slow process at first but is coming along better. Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said last week that he still sees Bamiro as a developing player with "peaks and valleys." Lately, there have been more peak days for him. His size -- 6-8, 340 pounds -- makes him the biggest player on the roster. The Giants would love to channel that mass into a player. So would Bamiro.

"Nothing is going to deter my faith," he said. "I will make this team."