|Brandon Spikes on his approach: ‘Be a shark, it’s Shark Week, you know’||08.14.12 at 8:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The middle of the Patriots defense was quiet last week without its most vocal and physical influence.
Brandon Spikes has returned with a vengeance this week after missing four practices and the preseason opener at Gillette against the Saints. He has been making deflections, picking off passes, calling out signals with Jerod Mayo and sniffing out running plays.
The Patriots got a glimpse of just how big a presence he could be in 2011. After 47 tackles in eight regular season games, Spikes took it to a new level in the postseason, registering 26 tackles and a sack in three playoff games, including an 11-tackle performance in Super Bowl XLVI.
He had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and last week may have just been precautionary management to make sure he maintains his aggressive style, a style he said Tuesday will continue this week and this season.
Will his comfort level in Bill Belichick‘s defense mean he’s ready to take his aggressiveness on the ball to a new level?
“Absolutely. That’s my nature. Be aggressive, be a shark – it’s shark week so you know, of course [laughs],” he said.
If Spikes can stay on the field, it will open up Mayo to be more of a roving linebacker, allowing him to cover backs and tight ends out of the backfield and call signals.
“I think we’re doing a great job,” Spikes said Tuesday of the communication going on right now. “A lot of young guys are coming in, making plays; they’re high energy guys, flying around [and] that’s great. They’re catching on to the defense and it’s good, we can just build from there. So I think we’re having a good camp defensively.
“I feel like over time and over the years, I feel like I’m getting better; learning the differences of the defense, where I’m supposed to be and where the next guy is. Being the middle linebacker I’ve got to kind of direct guys and it’s coming a lot easier this year, so hopefully I can just keep getting better.
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