- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett characterized his former team Wednesday as "a sleeping giant" and expects the winless New York Giants to "come out playing their hearts out" Thursday night at Soldier Field.
"It's just like a sleeping giant. You never know," Bennett said. "Sometimes you get to step over him, and you don't wake him up. Sometimes, you step over him and he grabs your leg. So we don't want him to grab our legs."
Bennett played for the Giants last season and produced career highs in receptions (55), receiving yards (626) and touchdowns (five) before signing a four-year contract in March with the Bears. Bennett is currently on pace (25 catches, 281 yards and three touchdowns) to better those numbers in his first season in Chicago.
Bennett ranks sixth in receptions this season among tight ends, and seventh in receiving yards.
Bennett said his former teammates in New York miss him, but not for what he does on the football field.
"It doesn't have anything to do with football; [they miss] just having me around," Bennett said. "A lot of guys say they want me to come out early so at least they have a chance to laugh before the game. They say, 'Hey, make sure you come out a couple of minutes early so we can talk, and I want to laugh.' I have a lot of good friends on that team. I look forward to seeing them. I hope all of them have bad games this week."
Asked how Giants coach Tom Coughlin might be handling the current situation, Bennett said, "I have no idea."
"He's been in situations where he brought teams that ... (the) Jacksonville Jaguars, when they first got in the league, he did a great job with them. I'm pretty sure they'll be fired up," Bennett said. "I don't think they're trying to lose games. These guys will come out playing their hearts out. They're a team that doesn't quit. We have to come out and play."