Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Bills' Spikes 'all-in' for offseason workouts
By Mike Rodak
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Linebacker Brandon Spikes did not take part in the voluntary portion of the New England Patriots' offseason program last spring, but he was present for the start of the Buffalo Bills' offseason workouts Tuesday.
Spikes, who signed a one-year deal with the Bills last month, said he views the next stop of his career as a challenge.
"This offseason program, I'm all in. I'll be here all day, trying to get better," he said. "It just feels right. I've always been the type to embrace challenges."
Spikes has made headlines earlier this month when he called his time in New England "4 years a slave," but brushed off the comments Tuesday.
"It's a free country," Spikes said. "That's what Twitter is for. I use it just to interact with my fans. ... People are gonna love you. People are gonna hate you. I just know how to be myself."
Former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick once called Spikes "a punk at times," and Spikes hasn't shied away from trash talking in his career. He didn't back down from his style of play Tuesday.
"Everybody got a theme. You gotta respect that," he said. "I got a big mouth, I talk a lot of trash. I feel like I can back it up. ... If I can get in a guy's head, I'll take advantage of it."
Spikes then took it a step further.
"You've seen a lot of the greats do it, with Floyd [Mayweather] and [Muhammad] Ali," he said. "I'm not saying on their level, but hey they personally might use it the same way. For me, it just gives me that edge."
Coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday that he met with Spikes to make sure "it was a good fit" before he signed.
"I like his personality," Marrone said. I have no issues at all with his personality."
As for Spikes' remarks on Twitter, Marrone doesn't view them as a problem.
"Obviously we live in a democratic society, where free speech, you would know better than anyone about what we have," Marrone said. "I don't have any issues when players say what they believe and what they really feel is in their hearts. As long as its being productive, productive for the team."
Whether it's on the field or on social media, Spikes' sometimes-edgy comments have even drawn the attention of his mother.
"It just rubs people the wrong way. My momma always tells me, 'Baby, some stuff you shouldn't say. Some people make take offense to it,'" Spikes said. "I say, you got an opinion, you either like it or you don't. The world turns and it'll be over."
Spikes said he looks forward each morning to reading tweets from the "Bills Mafia" and has embraced the fan base in Buffalo.
"Another thing, reason why I came here, was because the fan base here. I never felt that type of love, even though there hasn't been much success around here, really you can't deny, it's right there in your face. I've embraced it, I've used it as an advantage," he said. "I hadn't had that since I was in Gainesville. "Gator Nation" was the same way. It's just good to have it on your side as you were going about it."