BOSTON (CBS) – New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes knows not everyone around the NFL likes him.
But that’s okay with him.
“I’m passionate player. I love what I do,” Spikes said from the Patriots locker room on Thursday. “I go to bed thinking about ball; I wake up thinking about ball. You can see it when I’m playing. My teammates love it and I go out and play for them.”
Spikes is one of those players who is loved by his teammates, but opponents commonly don’t share that admiration.
It was on full display last Sunday against the Bills. After delivering a big hit on Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills QB let Spikes know he was less than thrilled with the linebacker’s play as he got up, and then called Spikes a “punk” after the game. The Bills also took exception to Spikes’ celebration following a bone-crushing hit on running back Fred Jackson — who suffered a concussion on the play.
Running back Tashard Choice even said Spikes will “get his” at some point down the road.
None of that chatter bothers Spikes though.
“Not at all. Everybody has their opinion and they can think what they want, but I’m just doing my job,” he said the comments by Buffalo — and all his haters for that matter.
Spikes On Criticism From Opponents:
Spikes has already tied his career-high in tackles with 61 tackles this season, good for second on the Patriots behind Jerod Mayo’s outstanding total of 91 — which ranks second in the NFL. Spikes has had a nose for the ball, forcing four fumbles and recording his first career sack last month against the Jets.
But he still knows there is plenty room for improvement on the defensive side for New England.
“I think we need to be more consistent, especially on third down. That’s where we have a lot of problems,” said Spikes. “We’re able to get in the right position – coach is getting us in the right scheme – we just have to execute better.”
The Patriots are hoping their newest addition will help with that. Corner Aqib Talib, acquired at the trade deadline from Tampa Bay, has practiced with the team all week and will look to make an immediate impact as the Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
Even though he’s being thrown into a new system mid-season, Spikes doesn’t think Talib will have a problem picking up the Patriots’ schemes.
“I’m pretty sure he’s going to do a great job. He’s a professional, I’m pretty sure he’ll be ready,” Spikes said of his new teammate. “You can tell he loves the game, and he’s been doing a great job so far. I’m looking forward to having him out there.”
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Colts game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV at 4:25pm. Pregame coverage begins with WBZ-TV’s Patriots GameDay at 11:30am, with 98.5′s Patriots Preview beginning at 1pm. Following the game, stick around for three hours of postgame coverage on The Sports Hub, and Patriots 5th Quarter on MyTV38.