Brandon Spikes was probably the Buffalo Bills’ biggest free agent signing for the year. After a slow start to free agency, the Bills made a move and brought in the former Patriot. Spikes is slated to play middle linebacker as stated both by him and newly hired defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Spikes’ desire to start over fresh with a new club may not have been his only reason for signing with the Bills. The Bills had recently brought over Pepper Johnson, LB coach for the Patriots, and is projected to be coaching the defensive line for Schwartz and the Bills.
“I got to reunite with the great Pepper Johnson so I was definitely happy about that,” said Spikes earlier this week. “I feel like it’s going to be fun and I’m down for a challenge. I want to help change things here.”
Johnson was Spikes’ position coach for the past two years and buffalobills.com reports that Spikes tries to follow in the footsteps of the older more aggressive style of LBs from years past.
“I’ve always played aggressive and watching all the older guys who played way before us those linebackers just all the old school throwback backers,” Spikes said. “I just molded my game after them and it just stuck with me the whole time. I’m just playing. Just go all out and be relentless and play every play like it’s your last. That’s how I play every time.”
Pepper Johnson was not all in on Spikes until 2013;
“I liked his style and his attitude and how he went about playing, but it wasn’t until his second year when we became fond of each other,” Johnson told Buffalobills.com. “He really did his background check on me and vice versa and I got to sit down and have conversations with him just talking football and his knowledge of the game and how much he wanted to know the history of the game.”
Both Johnson and Spikes are great additions to the Bills defensive scheme for this coming year. Both will bring the presence that this team needs to defend both the run and the pass this year. Look for another sack record to be set this year by this defense.