Brandon Spikes admits inconsistent playing time ‘a little frustrating’
|10.12.13 at 10:40 am ET|
FOXBORO — Brandon Spikes is still the most fearsome run-stopper on the Patriots defense. And with Vince Wilfork out of the lineup the rest of the season, he will likely be called upon to help even more.
But his playing time has been limited this season in some games as the Patriots rely more on a hybrid sub-package to stop the pass.
In those games, like against the Falcons, Spikes rarely sees the field as Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower get the majority of linebacker reps. Spikes played in just six of 76 snaps, his lowest as a healthy player in the last two seasons.
On Friday, Spikes admitted that getting accustomed to those rotations and watching from the sidelines is not always easy.
“I always want to be on the field, help the team out,” Spikes said. “Run around out there with the guys. We put so much in throughout the week, and you get one opportunity to come out on Sundays and get it done. Sometimes, it is a little frustrating, but like I said — whenever my number is called, I just have to go in and play at a high level and get the job done and that’s what I try to do every Sunday.
“I don’t look at it like that. I just come out and have a good time on Sundays. I don’t really pay attention to stuff I can’t control. It is what it is. I just feel fortunate to be able to play this game. I just want to make the best of it. There’s a small margin in the time you get to play, and why not just go have fun? That’s all I just base it on — going to have fun. Being happy and playing the game I love.”
Will he love it in New England next season after his current deal expires? WEEI.com’s Chris Price examines that question.
Last week, he returned to his more accustomed role, playing in 58 of 70 defense snaps against the run-heavy Bengals. His role could be diminished this weekend against the Saints.
But in obvious run situations, Spikes still figures to get on the field to help fill the void of Vince Wilfork.
“Losing Vince is a big loss and all, but me personally, I feel like the next guy up has to come in and step up,” Spikes said. “I feel like I have to raise my level with him being gone. When my number is called I just come in and get the job done.
“There’s always room for improvement, week in and week out. I want to get better each and every week, and like I said, I just want to be accountable to my teammates. We’ve got a lot of young guys out there, so it’s not just about me. I have to make sure the young guys are lined up and making sure they know the play.
“I’m always comfortable when I get on the field.”
Spikes believes he can still be part of a defense that leads the Patriots to wins while the offense still struggles to find its groove.
“My opinion is that defense wins games, wins championships,” Spikes said. “Stuff like that. Offense scores points, and it’s our job to try and stop it. Any game, you’ve got to have defense. So I think we should just come out and try to take pride and try to be great every Sunday. We can. We’ve got the checkers to do it. We’ve just got to figure out the right moves.
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