This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from OnlyDaTruth. Show OnlyDaTruth's posts

    This Year's D Better Off Without Spikes?

    "


     


    After spending four years as a slave—his words, not mine—to "doing your job" and "executing your assignment" in New England, Brandon Spikes was freed to prowl the confines of Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Buffalo Bills.


     


    Addition by subtraction.


     


    The New England Patriots will certainly miss Spikes' potent mix of passion, fire and unpredictable greatness, but they are set up perfectly to improve on their play in his absence. Jerod Mayo returns from his pectoral injury, while Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower weathered the storm last year and came out of it stronger and smarter.


     


    As Doug Kyed from NESN.com stated, "all the Patriots are missing is the class clown." Spikes' penchant for goofing around didn't end in the meeting room; it sometimes carried over to the field.


     


    Mayo summed Spikes' absence up well to Kyed:


     


    I think we have guys in the room that are able to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and go out there and make the same plays. I think we have a lot of talented guys in the room and in the front seven.


     


    Mayo's successful return—both as a leader and as a player—is perhaps the linchpin in holding the front seven together. He can man the "Will" position, and with Collins having free reign at the "Mike," Hightower can slide over to a more natural spot at "Sam," where defensive coordinator Matt Patricia can hide some of his deficiencies.


     


    Hightower was a more effective pass-rusher than Spikes in 2013, supposedly one of Spikes' bailiwicks. He was able to record a pressure on 17 of 71 rush attempts Pro Football Focus (subscription required), while Spikes was only successful on 8 of 62 attempts.


     


    Not being able to hide some of Spikes' shortcomings was one of the main issues with last year's defense.


     


    Spikes was at his best when defending the run, earning a plus-13.1 rating against the run, according to Pro Football Focus, including 48 stops. Patriots fans were treated to the explosive celebrations of Spikes after making a big play, but they rarely saw the exasperated looks of teammates and coaches when he overran plays and improvised in Brandon Meriweather-esque fashion.


     


    This 2014 team projects to have one of the better pass defenses in recent Patriots history. However, it only takes one open receiver to make a play. Letting Spikes go—leaving only Hightower as a potential coverage issue—was the prudent choice.


     


    Spikes' minus-2.7 rating in coverage is also an issue that adding more Collins—who earned a plus-2.9 coverage rating in the playoffs—will help assuage.


     


    Effectively switching out Spikes for Collins and shuffling the positions results in a more flexible and balanced trio. Take a look at what they both bring to the table.


     


    James Christensen


     


    As Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com wrote, "Bill Belichick has found a new sort of prototype. Nearly 30 years removed from establishing what NFL teams look for in a 3-4 linebacker, Collins is the right player for this era."


     


    Look for the new prototype to be the necessary bridge between the front seven and the stacked defensive secondary to propel this Patriots defense deep into the playoffs.


     


    "


     


    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2125245-why-the-new-england-patriots-defense-can-be-even-better-without-brandon-spikes" rel="nofollow">http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2125245-why-the-new-england-patriots-defense-can-be-even-better-without-brandon-spikes" rel="nofollow">http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2125245-why-the-new-england-patriots-defense-can-be-even-better-without-brandon-spikes


     


    I will miss his intensity

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ATJ. Show ATJ's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    Spikes was a stud in run D, average at best otherwise. 

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from OnlyDaTruth. Show OnlyDaTruth's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to ATJ's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Spikes was a stud in run D, average at best otherwise. 

    [/QUOTE]

    Agreed. We need more players on the defensive side w/ his on the field intensity

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

     

     He was not a good fit for the more cerebral BB approach.  

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from oklahomapatriot. Show oklahomapatriot's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?


    And it helps to get to top dog CB's.




     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Quagmire3. Show Quagmire3's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    unless you meant to say "this years D better WITHOUT Spikes" this is an overly dramatic, quite frankly ridiculous thread.



    "Giggedy, Giggedy!"

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from joepatsfan111111. Show joepatsfan111111's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    Spikes... Liked him. He brought a fire and intensity to the field. He was very good against the run. But he was godawful vs. the pass. Hightower made him expendable. His intensity will be missed, but when you can't defend the pass in a passing league, when payday comes along, buh bye! 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from OnlyDaTruth. Show OnlyDaTruth's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to Quagmire3's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    unless you meant to say "this years D better WITHOUT Spikes" this is an overly dramatic, quite frankly ridiculous thread.

     


    "Giggedy, Giggedy!"

    [/QUOTE]

    lmao...yeah, that's what I meant to write....my bad.  LOL :)

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to joepatsfan111111's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Spikes... Liked him. He brought a fire and intensity to the field. He was very good against the run. But he was godawful vs. the pass. Hightower made him expendable. His intensity will be missed, but when you can't defend the pass in a passing league, when payday comes along, buh bye! 

    [/QUOTE]

    I agree with Joe on this.  Loved Spike against the run but he was so slow in pass coverage.  The only thing I will miss from him is the picture of him wearing the pink suit to the Super Bowl this year.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Philskiw1. Show Philskiw1's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to joepatsfan111111's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Spikes... Liked him. He brought a fire and intensity to the field. He was very good against the run. But he was godawful vs. the pass. Hightower made him expendable. His intensity will be missed, but when you can't defend the pass in a passing league, when payday comes along, buh bye! 

    [/QUOTE]

    I agree with Joe on this.  Loved Spike against the run but he was so slow in pass coverage.  The only thing I will miss from him is the picture of him wearing the pink suit to the Super Bowl this year.

    [/QUOTE]


    [object HTMLDivElement]

    reminds me of the guy in the "Thrift shop" video. Lol

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from tcal2-. Show tcal2-'s posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    He was Just another piece of the worst 3rd down defense in the history of football over the past 4 years.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from rkarp. Show rkarp's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    Spikes is a dangerous player for a young, inexperienced coach. The Bills will need some really strong leaders in the locker room to help Pepper keep Spikes in check. That situation has a really good chance of going very wrong really quick...Bills being the Bills, misread the situation and the player/salary...opposing QB's will be looking to pick on Spikes, and the Bills have no where to hide him other than the bench. 

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazy-world-of-troybrown. Show crazy-world-of-troybrown's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    When BB lined up Collins last year against Demaryius Thomas, last year in Play-offs a couple of times, knew we had something special. Manning saw this, Thomas flew down sideline, Collins made the play. That's a Wide Reciever. Wish we had more speed like this in the Defense.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from joepatsfan111111. Show joepatsfan111111's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to crazy-world-of-troybrown's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    When BB lined up Collins last year against Demaryius Thomas, last year in Play-offs a couple of times, knew we had something special. Manning saw this, Thomas flew down sideline, Collins made the play. That's a Wide Reciever. Wish we had more speed like this in the Defense.

    [/QUOTE]

    do not recall when Collins was on D Thomas. I vividly remember him matching up on TE Julius Thomas and getting burned down the sideline

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from oklahomapatriot. Show oklahomapatriot's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to tcal2-'s comment:
    [QUOTE]

    He was Just another piece of the worst 3rd down defense in the history of football over the past 4 years.

    [/QUOTE]


    Yep. to me Spikes was a bust, I don't want a guy that can just stop the run I want a guy that can do both stop the run, and protect his area in the pass, and as a LB you should be good at both.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    Ted Johnson: 6'4" 260

    Spikes: 6'2" 255

    Donta' Hightower:  6'3" 270

    Spikes was too small (as crazy as that sounds) to play the middle "Ted" linebacker position.  He was a good linebacker, good in zone coverage, good against the run but he wasn't as big as his predecessors and less athletic.  You want these guys to attack offensive guards and beat them up the middle, you want them to shed blocks and make tackles, Spikes got swallowed up far too often.  

    Granted much of his issues were due to poor defensive tackle play in front of him, but some falls on his shoulders.  Hightower has the ability to be more, he hasn't shown it yet necessarily or in flashes but he's young, I hope Wilfork/Kelly stay healthy and we get to see him lead the team in tackles.  Collins will be a beast on the strong side and Mayo will rack up stats on the weak side.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from JohnHannahrulz. Show JohnHannahrulz's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    Spikes was not big enough to put on the line and was a liability in coverage. I know that On Line might sound odd, but Hightower is bigger and Collins is outstanding in coverage.

    So agree with Wozzy.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from 42AND46. Show 42AND46's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to oklahomapatriot's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    And it helps to get to top dog CB's.




    [/QUOTE]


    I will admit the Revis signing was the best off season move by any team hands down

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from OnlyDaTruth. Show OnlyDaTruth's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to JohnHannahrulz's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Spikes was not big enough to put on the line and was a liability in coverage. I know that On Line might sound odd, but Hightower is bigger and Collins is outstanding in coverage.

    So agree with Wozzy.

    [/QUOTE]

    It may have been the learning curve and the position played by Hightower, but I don't think he's done much yet.  Collins, being a rookie, showed flashes of being a great player. Looking for him to be a consistent play maker this season.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to wozzy's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Ted Johnson: 6'4" 260

    Spikes: 6'2" 255

    Donta' Hightower:  6'3" 270

    Spikes was too small (as crazy as that sounds) to play the middle "Ted" linebacker position.  He was a good linebacker, good in zone coverage, good against the run but he wasn't as big as his predecessors and less athletic.  You want these guys to attack offensive guards and beat them up the middle, you want them to shed blocks and make tackles, Spikes got swallowed up far too often.  

    Granted much of his issues were due to poor defensive tackle play in front of him, but some falls on his shoulders.  Hightower has the ability to be more, he hasn't shown it yet necessarily or in flashes but he's young, I hope Wilfork/Kelly stay healthy and we get to see him lead the team in tackles.  Collins will be a beast on the strong side and Mayo will rack up stats on the weak side.

    [/QUOTE]


    I don't know about this.  255 is pretty big for a LB.  If anything, we've downsized LBs.  Collins is 250 and Anderson just 235.  (On NFL.com, Johnson is listed at 253, so similar to Spikes though taller.) Of course, we're not really a 3-4 team anymore either, so the Ted position maybe isn't what we are looking for exactly, though BB isn't very position focused.  He tends to adjust schemes to match players rather than picking players to fit rigid schemes.  

    I thought Spikes was plenty big to take on interior linemen.  In fact, that was what they had him do last year mostly and I thought he was pretty effective at it. He was there to back up the light tackles we had once Wilfork and Kelly went down and I thought he added some stoutness to the middle when we needed it.  Hightower played more back because of that, reacting to the play while Spikes attacked.

    I suspect the Pats want more athleticism in general at the LB position.  They are definitely evolving toward more of a speed defense.  I think they'll want some size in the middle still, but with guys like Easley, Collins, and Jones I see athleticism getting preference over pure size.

     

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to JohnHannahrulz's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Spikes was not big enough to put on the line and was a liability in coverage. I know that On Line might sound odd, but Hightower is bigger and Collins is outstanding in coverage.

    So agree with Wozzy.

    [/QUOTE]


    He wasn't big enough to be a lineman, but he was a big LB (bigger than Ray Lewis, for instance).  I sometimes watch the players walk into the stadium and see them up close.  Believe me, Spikes was noticeably large when he walked in with the other LBs and offensive and defensive linemen.  

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from AyyyBoston. Show AyyyBoston's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    Spikes was great against the run, but a liability against the pass. I think the Pats will be better off without him, but we'll have to wait and see.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from msteven. Show msteven's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    Never was a Spikes fan.  Big,slow and one dimensional.  He was often injured and his celebrations drove me nuts!
    I think he created problems for BB as well because he could not adapt to changes in the defense from week to week.

     

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:


    I don't know about this.  255 is pretty big for a LB.  If anything, we've downsized LBs.  Collins is 250 and Anderson just 235.  (On NFL.com, Johnson is listed at 253, so similar to Spikes though taller.) Of course, we're not really a 3-4 team anymore either, so the Ted position maybe isn't what we are looking for exactly, though BB isn't very position focused.  He tends to adjust schemes to match players rather than picking players to fit rigid schemes.  


    I thought Spikes was plenty big to take on interior linemen.  In fact, that was what they had him do last year mostly and I thought he was pretty effective at it. He was there to back up the light tackles we had once Wilfork and Kelly went down and I thought he added some stoutness to the middle when we needed it.  Hightower played more back because of that, reacting to the play while Spikes attacked.


    I suspect the Pats want more athleticism in general at the LB position.  They are definitely evolving toward more of a speed defense.  I think they'll want some size in the middle still, but with guys like Easley, Collins, and Jones I see athleticism getting preference over pure size. 




    I suspect you would disagree with me if I said the sky was blue.  


    Collins at 250 pounds is just the right size if you run a 4.5 forty and jump out of the gym.  Moreover we're talking about two different positions, the Ted linebacker is the bigger guy who plays closer to the line of scrimmage, granted we play a nickel defense almost exclusively now as an every down set but the bones of the defense are still the 3/4.  


    Ted Johnson weighed 250 coming out of college and ballooned in weight as a pro, if they never updated his size I suspect it was to deflect from the likelihood he was jacked up on HGH.  It is still a world of difference between his weight and duties compared to Mayo who also plays inside linebacker.  Hightower is substantially bigger than Spikes, that's not debatable.


     

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: This Year's D Better Off With Spikes?

    In response to wozzy's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

     

    I don't know about this.  255 is pretty big for a LB.  If anything, we've downsized LBs.  Collins is 250 and Anderson just 235.  (On NFL.com, Johnson is listed at 253, so similar to Spikes though taller.) Of course, we're not really a 3-4 team anymore either, so the Ted position maybe isn't what we are looking for exactly, though BB isn't very position focused.  He tends to adjust schemes to match players rather than picking players to fit rigid schemes.  

     

    I thought Spikes was plenty big to take on interior linemen.  In fact, that was what they had him do last year mostly and I thought he was pretty effective at it. He was there to back up the light tackles we had once Wilfork and Kelly went down and I thought he added some stoutness to the middle when we needed it.  Hightower played more back because of that, reacting to the play while Spikes attacked.

     

    I suspect the Pats want more athleticism in general at the LB position.  They are definitely evolving toward more of a speed defense.  I think they'll want some size in the middle still, but with guys like Easley, Collins, and Jones I see athleticism getting preference over pure size. 

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I suspect you would disagree with me if I said the sky was blue.  

     

     

    Collins at 250 pounds is just the right size if you run a 4.5 forty and jump out of the gym.  Moreover we're talking about two different positions, the Ted linebacker is the bigger guy who plays closer to the line of scrimmage, granted we play a nickel defense almost exclusively now as an every down set but the bones of the defense are still the 3/4.  

     

    Ted Johnson weighed 250 coming out of college and ballooned in weight as a pro, if they never updated his size I suspect it was to deflect from the likelihood he was jacked up on HGH.  It is still a world of difference between his weight and duties compared to Mayo who also plays inside linebacker.  Hightower is substantially bigger than Spikes, that's not debatable.

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


    I don't disagree with you when you're right, Wozzy.  But this is just odd.  First of all, we haven't been a 3-4 in a while, even in our base, at least not a 3-4 like we were when Ted Johnson was on the field.

    Plus we've gone toward more athletic guys in the front seven.  Easley is only 290, not a big NT like Ted Washington or even Wilfork.  Chandler Jones is not a Ty Warren or a Richard Seymour.  I just don't see  a two-gapping three man front anymore.  

    And Spikes is big.  I've seen him up close.  255 is a big LB and Spikes looks that big when you see him in person.

    I sometimes think your observations are based on wishful thinking.  I know you like size both on offense and defense and think that's what the Pats should be building toward, but when I look at BB's moves I don't see that.  I see a focus on athleticism, particularly on D. 

     

     

     
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