Spikes and Patriots' firecrackers

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
11:55
AM ET
In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, Mike Reiss writes on Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes and how the team's defense has a different feel when he is on the field.

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Who is the top 'firecracker' player from the Bill Belichick era?

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As defensive end Rob Ninkovich said last year, Spikes is the type of player he likes to be around on game day “because he’s so amped-up and ready to roll. His physical play is just at a higher level. He’s just very physical.”

The piece on Spikes was a result of him seeing an expanded workload at practice Tuesday, and it noted that Spikes has been like a firecracker to the D, igniting others to rise up.

It also got us thinking, "Who are some of the top 'firecracker' players from the Bill Belichick era?"

Some thoughts:
  • LB Tedy Bruschi -- Full tilt, full time. Infectious energy and overflowing passion.
  • S Rodney Harrison -- From one of his initial practices with the team, when he decked Troy Brown, it was pedal to the metal at all times.
  • S Lawyer Milloy -- Wore his football heart on his jersey sleeve; his sudden release in 2003 deflated the team in opener.
  • LB Junior Seau -- Pre-game speeches resonated with many players, especially those early in their career.
  • WR Wes Welker -- Knack for absorbing big hits and getting back up galvanizes teammates.

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