The 2010 second-round pick is a hard hitter who attacks the hole and loves to show his emotion when he makes a play. And he'll tell you about it, too.
"I'm going to try to do all means to try and hurt you," Spikes said Wednesday. "That's how I play. I play violent, physical, and I feel like if I don't play like that, they're going to do it to me."
Spikes has been a key contributor since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for seven games, and he has been an asset to the defense since getting back onto the field in Week 17. He has also gotten some high praise from head coach Bill Belichick, who had been critical of Spikes in the past. The former Gator was pleased to hear the coaching staff appreciates his style of play.
"I've been playing this way since I can remember," Spikes said. "Parents at games were saying, 'He's too old. He's hitting too hard. We want to see his versatility.' I thought it was funny, but I was watching just the older games on the NFL channels back in the day. Guys that played my position, that's how they played. They tried to rip your head off. I just try to mold my game after that. That's all I know."
Spikes is a throwback in that sense, and if he keeps playing at a high level, his quotes are going to make him a huge hit with Patriots fans.
He is also trying to repay Belichick by backing it up on the field. Spikes was a big-time player at Florida but slipped in the draft due to a slow 40-time at the combine, as well as concerns over an eye-gouging incident during a game. But Spikes was thrilled that Belichick took a chance on him, and it's caused Spikes to keep playing with intensity at the NFL level.
"You go to college, you get up every morning, 5 o'clock, you're grinding, you want be the best of the best," Spikes said of his dedication in college, and his frustration over not being a first-round pick. "I just felt like I played so hard. I put my whole heart into this game, and I felt like it was overlooked. Bill gave me a chance, and I play hard every day."