FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Those who have watched rookie inside linebacker Brandon Spikes in training camp practices have seen some impressive things.
One example came Tuesday afternoon when Spikes, in a one-on-one rush drill, steamrolled second-year guard/center Rich Ohrnberger onto his backside.
Spikes is easy to spot on the field, in part because he wears bright red gloves, but also because he looks taller than his listed height (6-foot-2). Lining up in the middle of the Patriots’ 3-4 alignment, his length seems to be an asset because he can see over the traffic in front of him and react quickly to how the play is unfolding.
Thus, he doesn’t seem to get “caught up in the wash” very often. Instead, he’s often dictating by playing downhill.
Spikes’ length and power (he’s 250 pounds) is an interesting mix, and with this in mind, the question was asked to coach Bill Belichick this morning: “Does Spikes’ playing style remind you of anyone that you’ve coached?”
Belichick took a moment to ponder the thought, before saying, “I’m not really sure what his style is.
“I think he’s got some unique skills,” Belichick added. “For a tall player, I think he has more quickness than most guys, and probably a little more leverage than a lot of other tall players. He does a lot of things well. It’s kind of not by the book, but it’s effective.”
Belichick relayed how he was just talking with Spikes this morning about things he was doing that weren’t by the book, but that he was still doing effectively. While Spikes’ approach is a bit “unconventional”, Belichick doesn’t want him to change.
“He sees some things that I’m not sure everybody sees,” Belichick said. “He kind of has a little bit of his own … he’s an instinctive player and he sees things. I don’t know it’s the textbook way you’d read the plays, but he reads them. It’s interesting to work him into our system. ... He's an interesting player to coach."