Oh, brother: Giants' Martellus Bennett keeps eye on Bucs' Michael

Tight end Martellus Bennett grabs a pass in Tight end Martellus Bennett grabs a pass in the end zone for a second-quarter touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a preseason game. (Aug. 10, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Martellus Bennett always roots for his brother Michael. Even at some inopportune times.

Take last year, for example, when Martellus' Cowboys were playing against Michael's Bucs in December.

"He had a sack against [Tony] Romo and I was on the sideline like, 'Yeah! Good sack, good sack!' " Martellus recalled this past week. "Then I turned around and said, 'Somebody block that [guy]! What are y'all doing out there?' "

The Bennett Boys will meet again on the field Sunday. Unlike last year, when both were part-time players and could somewhat avoid each other -- Martellus said he switched assignments with Jason Witten so he wouldn't have to try to block his big bro -- both now are starters, and there seems little chance each will be able to sidestep his sibling.

Martellus, a Giants tight end, said he and Michael, who is a year older, were very close growing up. Martellus said he even grew his beard out to be more like his big brother.

"We're super, super close and do pretty much everything together," Martellus said. "Some people think we're twins. I think I look a lot better than him."

They also speak to each other every day. And yes, they have been in communication all this week as their teams prepared to face each other.

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"Last week he watched our game and gave me pointers before we played,'' Michael said. "He complimented our defense. He said our defensive line played very well and our whole defense did very well. He thought the D-tackles, Roy [Miller] and Gerald [McCoy], played very well, and of course the ends did too."

The Giants have had plenty of brotherly storylines throughout the years, from Eli Manning facing Peyton to Tiki Barber playing against Ronde. They even signed Shawn Andrews to play tackle one year and Stacy Andrews to fill the same role the next.

This might be the first time two brothers will be locked up against each other as often as Martellus and Michael likely will be.

"I go hard, I play extremely hard," Martellus said of facing Michael. "You don't want to be the guy who hurts his brother where something happened on the play. This week I told him, 'You have to suck it up. We've got to go against each other.' It'll be fun. We'll just see who comes out on top."

Only one will be a winner Sunday, but during the offseason, that wasn't the case. Martellus flew to Hawaii for Michael's wedding and the two trained on the beach there in the days before the ceremony.

"We used to run to school and practice in the back yard, and on the beach in Hawaii, working out together, it just shows how far we've come as brothers and for our family," Martellus said, referencing their hardscrabble upbringing in Houston.

"There are a lot of things we both wanted to accomplish in life and I think this is one of our first dreams that is coming true: Him starting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and me starting for the New York Football Giants. It doesn't get much better than that."

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