Linebacker Brandon Spikes left the New England Patriots on less than great terms and signed with the Buffalo Bills, a divisional opponent, as a free agent this offseason. On Apr. 9, Spikes sent out a tweet, stating “Great games on the schedule for 2014, but it’s going to be like Christmas to hand the #Patriots #Patriots Nation a L…twice!” Shortly after that tweet, Spikes sent another tweet which said, “4 years a slave.”
The Patriots play the Bills in Buffalo Week 6 on Oct. 12 and get the Bills at home to close out the regular season. It is highly unlikely the Bills will beat the Patriots twice in 2014; let’s just get that out of the way right now. Spikes is waiting for a Christmas that just won’t end up coming. Sorry, Brandon. You were a good player while you were in New England, but you’re dreaming if you really think the Bills will sweep the season against the Patriots. But hey, it’s good to dream, right?
It is true that since Spikes signed with the Bills and Dane Fletcher signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Patriots are lacking some depth behind Jerod Mayo, Jamie Collins (who may make the biggest second year leap) and Dont’a Hightower at the linebacker position. The Patriots failed to address this lack of depth through free agency, but they can still draft a linebacker who could work well in their system.
Now let’s focus on what Mayo and Collins had to say about Spikes’ comments.
Mayo said the following on Tuesday, via Zuri Berry of The Boston Globe:
“Brandon is a great player. Obviously he’s not with us anymore. He brought a physicality to the game that is kind of unprecedented as far as in the run game. He’s a good player. But at the end of the day, he’s not a Patriot right now.”
“He’s a physical guy. A funny guy. Sometimes you’ve just got to move on.”
Those are the correct responses. Both Mayo and Collins shouldn’t waste any time firing back at Spikes (if they wanted to); they should be focused on the current members of the Patriots team and getting ready for the 2014 season. Mayo should also be continuing to work on rehabbing the torn pectoral muscle (suffered Oct. 13, 2013) he had surgery on so he can continue to be on track to start Week 1 of the 2014 season. Mayo, Collins and the rest of the Patriots team need to remain focused on the 2014 season and playing football, not this superfluous nonsense. The two games against the Bills won’t be any bigger than normal, no matter how emotional Spikes says he’ll be. Those two games are divisional games that both teams will want to win (as long as the Bills are still alive for the playoffs in Week 17). They will be important as football games, not because Spikes is now a member of the Bills.
The Patriots are all about football, which is why they have been so successful. Mayo and Collins get that.