New England Patriots Links 8/05/10 - Unconventional Spikes The Story

Brandon Spikes runs through a drill at Training Camp.

Bill Belichick Press Conference - 8/04/10.  Belichick answers a question if Brandon Spikes playing style reminds him of anyone he has coached or seen over the years.

I'm not really sure exactly what his style is. Our defense is a lot different than what they ran at Florida. Obviously, he's a big, physical player, but I'd like to watch him in our defense a little bit. I think he's got some unique skills. For a tall player, he's got probably more quickness than most guys, probably a little more leverage than a lot of other tall players. He does a lot of things well. It's kind of not by the book but [it's] effective. So I don't know. It will be interesting to see how he... I was just talking to him down there this morning about a couple things that he was doing that are not exactly the way that everybody does them, but he does them effectively and I don't think he needs to change them, but it's just a little bit different. And so how he adapts to certain situations might not be quite the same as, say, Jerod or Gary or somebody else does it, but I think he does it and has done it effectively. It will be interesting to see how some of those things come together. Some may change and become a little more conventional. Some may be a little less conventional, but hopefully equally effective. He's an interesting player to coach.

Q: Are you talking about fundamentally or mentally?

BB: Both. Both. He sees some things that I'm not sure everybody sees. He's kind of got a little bit of his own... He's an instinctive player and he sees things. I don't know if they are exactly the textbook way you would read the plays, but he reads them. It's interesting to kind of work him into our system, really being a 4-3 middle linebacker in the front and system that they played [that was] just different than what we do. And now he's playing more on the guard, being uncovered with the guard as opposed to being covered playing behind a one technique or a defensive guy in front of him. It's just a little bit different, but he does things well. It's a transition, but a good one.

Paul Perillo offers some practice 13 observations, that had the players practicing in shells and shorts today.

Julian Edelman spent some time with the running back during drills at the start of practice. He was a running quarterback in college, of course, so perhaps Belichick is looking for ways to get the ball in his hands more often.

--Wes Welker seemed to be a bigger part of the team period early in practice than he has been thus far. He and Brady connected on consecutive plays, the second of which came after a fake end around to the wideout when Brady swung a short pass to him in the flat. Anytime Welker is involved the crowd roars its approval.

–There were some interesting lineups during the team period on defense. James Sanders got some reps with Chung at safety while Devin McCourty and Darius Butler served as the corners. Brandon Spikes lined up next to Jerod Mayo at inside linebacker while fellow rookie Jermaine Cunningham got the nod at outside linebacker opposite Tully Banta-Cain.

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