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Brandon Spikes subpackage role?

 
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treat88


Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Posts: 6426
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Brandon Spikes subpackage role? Reply with quote

So, is Spikes a true 3 down backer or do you foresee him leaving the field in obvious passing situations?

Any long range concerns about his knee troubles?

Thanks for the insights!
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Sciz


Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Posts: 15794
Location: Iowa
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My expectation is that we'll see mostly Hightower and Mayo in subpackages together.
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mcmurtry86


Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 24500
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Brandon Spikes subpackage role? Reply with quote

treat88 wrote:
So, is Spikes a true 3 down backer or do you foresee him leaving the field in obvious passing situations?

Any long range concerns about his knee troubles?

Thanks for the insights!


I have mild concerns about both his and Mayo's knee issues

I can't see him on the field in passing situations now that Hightower is around. Other than blitzing up the middle, he's not particularly useful in sub packages though he was used a fair bit last year. It's possible if/when the Pats run a 2-4-5 or 3-3-5 he could see some sub package duty. I would think that Ninkovich, Mayo and Hightower are all above him on the "sub package" depth chart and possibly a guy like Bobby Carpenter or Dane Fletcher as well
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Deadpulse


Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 8877
Location: Boston MA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Spikes is a starting caliber LB right now with some room for improvement, but could very well plateau here. However, we are talking about a BB defense that will and has always been situational. Spikes will be used in a way to maximize his talents, he will have his job.

That being said, so will Hightower, Mayo, Nink, Fletcher, and Carpenter. So do I expect him to be on the field every down? No, but I honestly wouldnt expect that of any player on defense short of some DB's and Mayo.

If I were to guess starters, I would say Hightower, Mayo, Spikes and in a 3-4 base, Nink, would be them.

But if last year was any indication, they seem to trust Spikes in there for a large chunk of snaps as the season wore on:

Week 2
19 of 72

Week 3
48 of 66

Week 4
46 of 70

Week 5
52 of 54

Week 6
67 of 74

Week 7
74 of 80

Week 8
39 of 72 - Suffered MCL during game

Week 17
LB Brandon Spikes 18 of 71 - First game back from injury, meaningless game, came in in the 4th qtr to shake off rust, came in for sub packages.

Playoffs - Div
59 of 71

Playoffs - AFC Champ
52 of 73

SB
66 of 76

So if you take out the game he was forced to leave and the game he didnt play much in to end the season due to his return from injury and the meaningless nature of the game, he played 483 snaps out of 636 which is
75.9% of his snaps and a whopping 86.8% in the biggest stage of all. I would say that BB trusts him to be out there in many situations and wants him out there. We all know how well Dane played in Spikes absence, but BB went with Spikes in the playoffs despite his layoff. Fletcher played 14, 10, and 1 snaps in the Div, Champ, and SB. I think Spikes has earned his spot and IMO is underrated for his ability to be on the field in more than just blitzing and run stuffing situations. Mike Riess wrote in one of his blogs about it as well:

Mike Riess wrote:
LB Brandon Spikes was part of the base and nickel packages, coming off in the dime. This shows how Spikes is viewed as more than just a two-down linebacker by the coaching staff.


EDIT: Here are the numbers, its always interesting to look at snap counts. Spikes final % seems to include snaps from games he missed due to injury. Even when you factor in the two games I omitted due to circumstance, he played 69% of the snaps.
http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/category/_/name/defensive-snaps-2/count/1[/quote]
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