Second year New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower is out to make sure he shows progress and doesn’t suffer from the sophomore slump that hits more than just quarterbacks. In 2012, Hightower had 43 total tackles with four sacks, and two fumble recoveries as well. Hightower is a big outside linebacker at 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, and can hit like a freight train seemingly every play.
With another year in the league, Hightower should grow into yet an even more ferocious linebacker, especially under head coach Bill Belichick. He is also one of the three extremely talented linebackers for the Patriots, including Brandon Spikes and Jerod Mayo. All three of these guys are big, young, extremely talented and driven to punish opposing team’s offensive players into the ground all day long.
It isn’t all lost, as there is some easy, sound ways to keep Hightower in check for the Buffalo Bills. This would include getting him to respect the passing game to the tight ends, such as Scott Chandler and Chris Gragg, and also get the running backs, with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson being excellent pass catching running backs. Spiller will likely be a huge home run hitting player who can score from anywhere on the field in 2013 even more so than 2012.
All and all, it should be interesting to see what the Buffalo Bills do to contain or even exploit Hightower’s aggressiveness in Sunday’s game against the Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium.