Monday, March 17, 2014

Spikes sees his run-stopping ability of value to Bills


Fresh out of New England, linebacker Brandon Spikes has a skill set that can serve the Buffalo Bills well.

Spikes, entering his fifth year in the NFL, is poised to help the strengthen the Bills' run defense with his hard-hitting, intimidating style of play. It's an approach to the game he's shaped after linebackers of years past.

“I’ve always played aggressive and watching all the older guys who played way before us,” Spikes recently told “I know a lot of people are saying the league is passing now and it’s pass, but as you can see in the playoffs everybody just starts running the ball.

"[Teams] need a run stopper that can take that away like in the playoffs late in the season when the weather becomes a factor.”

Spikes is out to prove he's more than just a first- and second-down player, but helping bolster a run defense that was ranked 28th overall last season (yards-against per game) is his top priority. He'll do so in the 'Mike' position of a scheme he finds similar to the one he played in in college, at the University of Florida under Urban Meyer.

"It was a scheme where I was able to play at a high level and had lots of success," Spikes said.

Pro Football Focus ranked Spikes as the league's best run-stopping inside 'backer in 2013. He tallied 48 solo tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

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