Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes (55) reacts during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Free Agent Profile: Brandon Spikes

Dec 29, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes (55) walks through the rain before their game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Spikes has given a lot to the New England Patriots over the last couple of years, but I think it is time for the team to move on. Spikes is one of, if not the best run stuffing linebacker in the league, but his horrible pass defense should have him out of Foxboro for the 2014 season.

In his four seasons in New England, Spikes amassed 286 tackles, five forced fumbles, two interceptions, and one sack. He played hard, and always brought a lot of energy to Bill Belichick’s defense. But far too often I found myself yelling at the television screen, after seeing Spikes get roasted by another tight end or running back. He doesn’t have the speed or quickness to keep up with most of the skill players in the league, which forces his coaches to take him out on passing downs. As a first and second down backer, there aren’t very many guys that play better than Spikes. However he hasn’t improved his pass defense at all since his days at Florida, and unless something drastic happens, I think he will be a bad coverage guy for the rest of his career.

Whoever does land Spikes won’t be getting totally screwed. As I mentioned, he is a terrific run defender, and his enthusiasm towards the game is something that will be missed in Foxboro. But having no skills as a pass defender is something that will hurt you in today’s pass driven league, which is why I hope he won’t be a Patriot in 2014.

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