New England Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes is one of the most quotable players in the league, and his candidness is certainly something fresh. Spikes gets a lot of undeserved criticism for what he says, largely because people don’t realize that he thinks differently and still has the right idea at the end of the day. Not participating in OTAs? Spikes wanted to improve his pass coverage in a contract year, and an improvement in athleticism, speed, and agility would all be a boon to his covering ability and the health of the Patriots defense as a whole. For as excellent as Spikes is against the run, he is a huge liability in pass coverage despite some really good ball skills. The problem is that Spikes just isn’t fast enough to keep up with running backs, and they feast in the pass-catching game against the New England Patriots.
Spikes received some praise earlier this offseason from linebackers coach Pepper Johnson, and he recently said something interesting. He said that he doesn’t play for a contract next offseason, but rather what motivates him is playing the game, winning rings (not getting stats), and not letting Pepper Johnson or his teammates down.
His statements about Johnson were especially interesting, via the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, “I don’t really think about it, but I hear it so much, I’ve got to be conscious of it,” Spikes said. “But my whole thing is just not letting my teammates down, not letting Pepper Johnson down. I go out there and take that field, I know he’s with you in the play. He did what he did. I can see it in his eyes, that fire. That’s what motivates me — not disappointing him. That’s how I approach the game, like it’s my last game. One day, I’ll maybe be in the position he’s in where he wants to play but he can’t, his body won’t let him. It gives me that extra push. I just don’t want to let Pepper down.”
Brandon Spikes then spoke about how everything can be taken away in one swoop by injuries, and injuries have not been uncommon in Spikes’s career. In fact, the only thing that kept him from “breaking out” before the 2012 season was injuries, and he was able to play in 15 games last season and showcase his incredible run defense. Spikes is a guy who plays to win the game, and that quote above also shows that he has the right mentality. I would highly recommend clicking on the link to the Herald above, because it features two more great quotes from Spikes.